In this week’s mini episode we ask if survivalist reality shows are secretly making a case for veganism. The discussion is framed by taking a closer look at the History Channel hit, Alone. The show finds 10 contestants dropped off in remote wilderness with only the clothes on their backs plus 10 items of their choosing and then asked to survive as long as possible. The last survivalist to tap out receives a $500,000 grand prize. While the show appears, on it’s surface, to be decidedly #notvegan, as contestants find themselves consuming fish, crabs, and small birds. However, is it possible that a show designed to champion human resilience actually shreds the illusion of human supremacy?
About a month ago we recorded this video but we held onto it in favor of releasing some more timely material. As we continue to work on some more ambitious projects, we’ve decided to release this mini episode, with an additional introduction discussing COVID and the recent protests, as well as some further relfection at the end of the episode. With that said, this week we discuss Mark Rober’s recent viral video: Building The Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder in which he constructs an eight part obstacle course that most questionably contains a catapult designed to launch squirrels right before the final reward. In the video, Mark details the efforts he has made to ensure no harm comes to the squirrels. Despite the fact that we’ve seen many vegans sharing this video without comment, something didn’t sit quite right with Andy and so we wanted to pick apart this idea that abuse and exploitation is only defined by physical harm. Is this video all just harmless fun, or is it the tip of the iceberg of something more sinister?
Transcript of the original episode HERE.
This week, we bring you an interview with Omowale Adewale to discuss the 7 Points Of Allyship For The White Vegan Community In Defense Of Black Lives. This pledge is designed to organize white vegans to take tangible action to support black lives during a time when performative allyship is at an all time high. Omowale discusses each point individually and expands on their meaning, as well as explaining just why he felt it was necessary to put this together in the first place.
A full transcript of the episode is available at http://bit.ly/TBVEp233Transcript.
Actions To Take:
Support Omowale Adewale on Patreon.
Take the allyship pledge at BlackVegfest.org
Donate To (and then share) The 7 Points Of Allyship on GoFundMe – Send us the screenshot of your donation and we will double donations up to $100 total.
We had originally recorded an episode about something that started to feel more and more frivolous as the uprising sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery developed. So we jumped on the mic for a last minute episode to address a meme going around that features a protestor holding a severed pig’s head. The resulting online discourse was messy, to say the least. We’ll ask what is the purpose of this meme, who is the intended audience, and ultimately why we feel it is incredibly shortsighted and misguided. The conversation then evolves into addressing the latest trend of memes attempting to expose the hypocrisy of others. We’ll talk about what we think is lost in the quest for dunks.
A transcript of this episode can be found at https://bit.ly/TBVep231Transcript
This week we kick things off by discussing our feelings on the recent spate of Re-Open protests. What do they reveal about those who engage in them, are they productive, and is their rage justified? Then we ask the question, are vegans more susceptible to COVID conspiracy theories? As we’ve seen a rise in vegans, from ethical activists to plant based doctors, embracing a slew of alternate explanations for current world events, we began to wonder if this was happening at a higher rate with vegans. Is there something about our general worldview that primes us to be more open to these theories than the general public?
A transcript of the episode is available at https://bit.ly/TBVEp228Transcript
Who’s Behind the ‘Reopen’ Protests? (New York Times)
The Psychology Of Conspiracy Theories (American Psychological Association)
Conspiracy Theory Handbook (Climate Change Communication)
When Tiger King was first released, Paul and Andy quickly viewed the whole series and recorded two bonus episodes reviewing and discussing its content. While the initial release quickly gained fandom, they couldn’t have possibly predicted it would explode into full blown meme saturation. Their first two episodes were recorded days after its release, in relative isolation to the public reaction. Now, with several weeks of public discourse and meme-ification, The Bearded Vegans wanted to discuss the implications of how many viewers have reacted. Do the memes (and merch) serve to further mock these abusers or do they gloss over such atrocities for the sake of a laugh, perhaps even glorifying some heinous individuals. They’ll also ask whether the backlash against Carol is warranted, and why so many are saying there is no meaningful difference between Big Cat Rescue and other exploitive operations.
Tiger King is a 7 part documentary series, now available on Netflix.
This week, Paul and Andy dive back into the vegan response to the COVID-19 pandemic with specific examples of those claiming a plant based diet makes one immune to the effects of the virus. In their main discussion, they respond to a listener question asking how vegans can effectively get across the seriousness of veganism. When many people respond to vegan advocacy by saying “I don’t care if you’re vegan, you shouldn’t care if I’m not” or “live and let live”, does it mean we haven’t done an effective job of accurately conveying that veganism is a social justice stance? Ultimately it leads to a lengthy discussion about whether or not the phrase “meat is murder” has lost it’s meaning and relevance. Paul suggests a new alternative.
A transcript of this episode can be found at bit.ly/TBVEp222Transcript
The Coronavirus, Flu, and Immunity (Dr. Fuhrman)
This week Paul and Andy bring back the news roundup where they discuss a variety of news stories that have recently caught their interest. Stories include Happy the elephant being denied legal personhood, the new guidelines for employers to comply with the ruling that veganism is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, the erosion of the United State’s oldest ag-gag law, and more. The episode concludes with a lengthy discussion about Ethica Global, a company that touts their ethical vegan roots but was busted buying bacon for their employees. What started out as a simple question about the merits of vegan businesses hiring non-vegan employees turns to an exploration of why this story was reported in the first place. Things may not be as they seem!
Nic’s On Beverly(Los Angeles, CA)
PANERA DROPS VEGAN MILK UPCHARGE (Plant Based News)
Supporting Veganism In The Workplace: A Guide For Employers(The Vegan Society)
Ag-gag laws continue to crumble under legal scrutiny(Ohio’s Country Journal)
Digital agency turning away work if it’s not vegan enough(Eastern Daily Press)
Firm which trades on its veganism – but buys staff bacon butties(Eastern Daily Press)
In today’s “mini” episode we talk about the complicated case of a student animal rights group being denied official status with the college due to both the “emotional risk” of the nature of their activism as well as the “repetitional risk” of being associated with PETA. We’ll talk about the messy world of free speech and if / where a line can be drawn on what should or shouldn’t be allowed on a college campus. Additionally we will discuss the motives of Truman State University for denying vegan and vegetarian groups for three years in a row, whether or not activism requires inherent emotional risk, and beyond!
We took the month of January off and wow did a lot of lawsuit related things happen during the time! We’ll go over what we missed, including ethical veganism being named a protected characteristic in the UK and Ben and Jerry’s removing the “happy cow” label from their packaging. Plus we’ll talk about the “meat patch” and rant about media literacy after the news that Starbucks is supposedly going dairy free. All that and much much more!
Vote for us as “Best Vegan Podcast” in the Vegan Food & Living Reader Awards(Ends Feb 21st 2020)
TOP 10 WAYS Big Animal Ag Collects Cowboy Welfare(Vegan Justice League)
Starbucks goes dairy free, for the planet (The Chronicle Herald)