Eat to Live

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It may not be explicitly vegan, but the video for Talib Kweli’s “Eat to Live” hits a lot of the right notes:

Vegetarianism in Pop Culture: June 2008

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You’ll remember Morgan Spurlock from his movie Super Size Me, but you may have missed his very similar TV show, 30 Days.  On 30 Days, someone (occasionally Morgan) spends a month doing something completely foreign.  On the first episode of the third season, Morgan worked in a West Virginia coal mine for a month.  This week, a former pro football player lived life in a wheelchair.  You’ll want to set your DVR to record FX next Wednesday Tuesday night to catch a hunter’s attempt to live as a vegan for 30 days (installment 3).

The scenario sounds like something we’ve seen on awful shows like Wife Swap, but it’s made more interesting when you remember that Morgan is married to Chef Alex Jamieson, who is vegan (plug: I interviewed her in issue 10 of Herbivore).  I suspect that this, combined with Spurlock’s respectful and non-exploitative tone, should turn out to be relatively balanced, even if they do have the hunter protesting KFC in a chicken outfit.  During the 30 days, he lives with a PeTA staffer and spends time at the Animal Acres Sanctuary (the one run by Farm Sanctuary co-founder Laurie Bauston), even rescuing a calf from a factory farm operation.  Should be interesting.

Another show I’ve been watching is Last Comic Standing, an American Idol for stand-up comedians.  The first few weeks of this season have seen some really, really terrible vegetarian jokes.  They’ve all been really unoriginal or, worse, outright misinformed, like the woman who joked that eating lunch with her vegan friend was annoying because she’d order her tuna sandwich without mayo.

Her tuna sandwich?  Really?  And, no, I don’t think that was part of the joke.

Thankfully, this week there was a comedian who said he was dating a vegetarian.  “A real vegetarian,” he clarified.  “Because it’s amazing to me how many people claim to be vegetarian but then say something like, ‘But I eat a little chicken.’  I respond to them, ‘Oh, so you’re not a vegetarian, then.  You’re a liar.'”  Awesome.

I have no problem with jokes at our expense.  But for heaven’s sake, be original and informed.  There’s plenty that’s funny about us beyond the obvious stuff.

Lastly, Veg Blog reader Brian wrote to let me know about the comic strip Lio, which featured an animal liberation theme at the end of May.  You can read it starting here and going forward through May 30th.

Anyone else spot a veg references in pop culture this month?