In developing this website, I’ve found that there are actually quite a few people who aren’t vegan. Weird, I know! Most of these folks are thoughtful, compassionate and great critical thinkers, so the only reason for them not to be vegan must be a lack of information. For these people, I decided to include some tips on how to be vegan, so they can get started right away.
“How to Be Vegan” Tip 2: If a Film Makes You Cry, Say “Aye”
A key ingredient to any quality vegan lifestyle is the viewing of movies and videos that make you sad. In fact, many people become vegetarian or vegan as a direct result of seeing these kinds of videos. Meet Your Meat by PETA is probably the most cited. If you’re a really exceptional vegan, you’ll go all out and watch Earthlings. This feature-length sad-fest will have you moping around for days, even weeks. Boy, what a good vegan!
Why is this Important?
Animals raised for food suffer all day every day of their lives. As a vegan, you have a responsibility to represent them. And I don’t just mean by speaking up for them; I mean by taking on their pain. Since it’s unreasonable to think you could spend your life in a box barely bigger than your body, get your extremities cut off without anesthesia and get killed at a young age, you should at least get your feelings hurt a little by watching this happen to animals. How can you explain to people how bad animals have it if you haven’t watched them get abused or neglected over and over until your eyes bleed and your soul is numb? Answer: you can’t.
What are the Rewards?
None. Oh, except for that smug feeling that accompanies having seen a documentary that the people you’re talking to haven’t seen yet. But people who watch Cosmos also get that feeling, so what do I know?
What are the Challenges?
Just one: Sometimes it’s hard to tell if what you’re watching is sad enough. Many online videos start out really gloomy and awful but then have a happy ending. The videos posted by the Coalition to Unchain Dogs are all perfect examples. They begin really promising – with sad music, pouty-faced canines and bleak imagery. You think you’re doing great, and then BAM! The music gets cheery and hopeful, the dog is released from his heavy chain and he starts frolicking around happily in his newly fenced yard. Turn it off!
Where Do I Start?
Besides Earthlings, the really sad movies are: The Ghosts in Our Machine, Blackfish, Speciesism, Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, Food Inc., and Vegucated. There are also tons of horrible videos on YouTube. Oh, and of course there’s the Sarah Mclachlan commercial.
Top Image: Molly Shannon in Year of the Dog.