Ruth is from Wales and has lived abroad for nearly 10 years, she enjoys her vegan lifestyle, loves animals and hopes to inspire others along the way. Her new blog is up and running at http://ruthculbreth.wordpress.com
My husband and I love TV, not the stupid adverts or the right wing/left wing bickering news programmes regurgitating people’s lives as entertainment, but the impressively ridiculous world that is TV series. So much more intelligent!
What I love most about them now is when my husband and I turn our heads to each other in delirious, nonsensical excitement when the word or the idea of ‘veganism’ comes up. If you are not vegan (even if you are) and you think that is particularly tragic I would hasten to agree with you, but oh boy the joy!!
Veganism has been around since Donald Watson coined the term in the forties, however, it hasn’t always had much positive press although as I and many others say, ‘any press is good press’.
In our life time, in this generation, things are becoming more vegan friendly, we exist as a people and as an entity. We are still seen by a lot of people as freaks, weirdos, or downright extremists, but the TV is being a lot more cautious towards us and realising that we may just be 1%, but as we all know, 1% can rule the world.
Recently, we have started watching ‘The Blacklist’. Now we are a little behind since we rely on the internet and didn’t even know this show existed before and so, we haven’t actually reached the episode that focuses on poaching as described by this article. However, in a season 1 episode James Spader’s character couldn’t help attributing someone’s pale complexion to his obvious lack of protein: ‘He isn’t a vegan is he?’
As a vegan that whole protein thing is redundant, but we got so excited that he actually said the word, that the word is becoming so commonplace, that we forgave Mr. Spader for his lack of fact-checking. Feeding stereotypes or not, for now I will take any recognition. I live in Korea and ‘veganism’ is not a word that anyone knows of.
Another show that regularly targets animal issues and hints at veganism (although when I last watched it, it had only danced around the notion of vegetarianism) is ‘Bones,’ thanks to the wonderfully influential main character Emily Deschanel.
Bones is shown on Fox, a TV channel that makes some people’s hair stand on end. Owned my Rupert Murdoch, a man who has been in the spotlight for his notorious political views and most infamously for hacking people’s phones (including murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler) in the name of ‘journalism.’
I don’t think I would be out-of-line in believing that Mrs. Deschanel wouldn’t agree with most of Murdoch’s ethics and yet money talks, and being such a hugely successful show, Murdoch has yet to cut the ties. Bones continues to influence people towards a more compassionate way of living.
My husband likes ‘Gotham’ and I have to admit I am not a fan, too dark and dismal for my taste, but I am jumping for joy and raising its ratings when it mentions veganism. Poison Ivy shouts to someone preparing food for her: ‘don’t forget I am a vegan.’
Some people may be confused by this since she controls plants and her aim in life is to save the world’s plant life by any means necessary -*ahem as my husband explained to me,- but actually, by not eating meat she is consuming less plants than if she wasn’t a vegan. Check out point 1 here.
The rise of veganism in mainstream media, whether a punch line or not, is raising eyebrows and promoting thought. We need more and more people to become acquainted with the notion that we are a group of people that integrate and exist and spend our Saturday nights watching the same things as a meat-eater would. We deserve to have room in the box and we deserve to be acknowledged.
I will continue to listen out for any more references with the same excitement as a dog at dinner time and punch the air when a salad is served over a steak.
Lights… camera… action….