George and Julia's Vegan Underground

Getting “Vegucated”

This is a review of a movie called “Vegucated“, a documentary that follows three New York carnivores as they attempt to be vegan for 6 weeks.  Fun right?  The film maker Marissa (Marisa Miller Wolfson) introduced the film as such. There were some real funny parts including “Is It Vegan?” and a great play on the stereotypical, goth vegan.

She did point out that near the middle of the film, there would be some scenes that were not-so-nice, like a pig shot in the head execution style. It looks straight at us as its body twitches and jerks until it finally dies.  The woman behind us bawled(several times).  These scenes were traumatizing but it was not the main focus(just the scene you’ll never forget).  Unlike the film “Forks Over Knives” this film went beyond the vegan-for-your-health reasoning.  (although the honorable Mr.  Esselman is mentioned).

I thought it would be an opportunity for Julia and I to rub elbows with fellow vegans. It was but that wasn’t all.  Let’s just say there were a lot of political soap boxes pulled out for the Q and A.  There were very few Q’s and they were almost never about the film.

I wondered if the comedic beginning was intentionally included to make the animal cruelty even more horrific.  I really don’t think so.  The film didn’t have all the answers and that was OK. I suppose some might say, it lacked focus.  Was it about slice of life becoming a vegan, why to become a vegan, how to stay vegan, incorrect assumptions about vegans, the poor animals, weight loss, health benefits?  It was clearly all of that and yes, many points were not clearly developed.

I applaud the film, enjoyed it and think you should go see it.  Here’s the deal on a film like Vegacated.  It basically had no budget, no actual actors, and it’s possible they used too much of what they shot (the editing room floor was very neat) and the storytelling choices, far from perfect.

On the other hand, I learned a lot. While I don’t necessarily believe in guilting and shaming people into becoming vegan, that is a consequence of the footage shot, footage used. There is an animal cruelty aspect as well as health benefits.  While I personally feel the animal angle is a fortunate result of my healthy diet. For others, it might be the main or only reason.

So bring on the information, propaganda or not.  We’re clearly interested in this stuff.  I hope 100’s of movies like this get made.  Hey, she had me educated when I learned that Oreos are vegan.  I could also relate to the test subjects. The guy’s challenge on his trip home to New Hampshire was very similar to my “Ohio Challenge.”

Yes, there was an agenda but there was real truth there. Forks Over Knives only reported on the people who gained health benefits from the vegan diet.  The rest, “left the study.”  Marissa reported the real facts, a mild weight loss and drop in blood pressure.  Hey, it was 6 weeks.  The real results were the subjects’ change in attitude towards vegans. Only the Mom stayed a vegan, the others on and off again vegetarians. That’s real life people.

Beside, Julia and I discussed it for hours. We questioned where we fit into this whole “vegan thing.”  I suspect Julia may go full-blown PETA. Goodbye leather, hello freetrade poncho.  Stay tuned for our new look Q2 of 2012.

Time to bottom line: It’s not easy being vegan and I’m certainly not going to fight with my own team. We are a small team(the vegans) and we need film makers like Marissa. I hope she has a great life raising her vegan baby. Thanks for all the hard work on this film.  Buy it or go see it.  I’m gonna go get some Oreos.

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