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.
No elaborate title this week, we simply want to talk about the importance of media literacy during a time when news and other information is flying by our timelines at a record pace. We’ll discuss the tactics we use to determine the validity, truthfulness, and intent of the news articles that we have turned into various episodes of the show. Then we’ll turn that lens on one specific article that set of alarm bells when we first read the title.
A full transcript of the episode is available at https://bit.ly/TBVEp232Transcript.
How to Fight Lies, Tricks, and Chaos Online (The Verge)
George Floyd Protests: Rumor Roundup (Snopes)
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
Today Paul and Andy open up the mailbag and do their best to respond to listener questions, comments and concerns. Topics run the gamut from why vegan burgers have become so mainstream while vegan cheese seems to be left in the dust, to if and how vegans should use the global pandemic to advocate for animals. They close out with a series of questions regarding knowing when to pick your battles: policing language, sticking up for veganism in nonvegan activist spaces, and people who say their body requires animal flesh. This week’s episode was extra special as it was recorded with a live audience over IG Live, which enabled Paul and Andy to interact a bit with listeners as the show went on.
A full transcript can be found at https://bit.ly/TBVEp230Transcript
DONATE TO CHILIS ON WHEELS and their pandemic relief efforts and we will double your donation, up to $400. Just send us a screenshot of your receipt.
Cheese vs. Meat – Which Carbon Footprint Is Higher? (Climate Foot Notes)
In this week’s episode, Paul and Andy do some follow up regarding vegans promoting COVID conspiracies, especially related to sharing the “Plandemic” video. Then they hit up some Tiger King updates. As people flock to the grand re-opening of Joe Exotic’s zoo, the filmmakers rush to clarify the intent of their series. Finally, Paul and Andy break down the announcement that Canada Goose will be moving to entirely recycled/upcycled fur by 2022. They’ll discuss the ins and outs of such a decision and whether or not activists should view it as a victory. More interestingly, they look into the Canada Goose sustainability report in which CG made the announcement and try to figure out if they actually have any intention of following through and how the hell would they actually be able to pull off such a massive endeavor.
Canada Goose Will Stop Buying Fur — Sort Of(New York Times)
Canada Goose Sustainability Report (Canada Goose)
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)
In this week’s mini episode we finally review Running For Good, a documentary that was released in 2017 but we haven’t stopped getting requests since. A relatively straightforward tale about Fiona Oakes attempting to complete Marathon Des Sables, a 251 km ultramarathon, in an effort to bring attention to the plight of animals. As we watched, we were a bit confused by how many people recommended to us, as it initially appears to be relatively light on vegan advocacy, but as we got into the discussion we were surprised to find how many questions it raises in terms of effective activism. Ultimately we felt this review was a very fruitful conversation.
Running For Good is available on all VOD platforms.
A transcription of this episode can be found at https://bit.ly/TBVEp227Transcript
We’ve got a cornucopia of an episode this week. First up Andy recounts his experience getting tested for COVID-19 and the past 10 days worth of health struggles. Then we offer up the ultra-rare all positive news section, to deliver some stories of triumph in the animal rights world, hopefully a bright spot in such dark times. Finally we talk about that Bill Maher video that has been making the rounds in many vegan circles. Maher decries factory farming in a recent segment and points towards humanity’s exploitation of animal flesh as a huge risk factor for pandemics. With many vegan advocates sharing this video and even asking others to watch and share, we’ll first discuss our thoughts on the content of the segment and then widen the conversation to ask if, given Maher’s extensive history of oppressive commentary and shock jock rhetoric, is it appropriate to promote this message? Or does the importance of the topic outweigh such considerations?
Westchester County bans circuses from using performing animals (lohud)
Kansas ‘Ag-Gag’ Law Permanently Blocked (Progressive Farmer)
Chicago City Council votes to pull horse-drawn carriages off the streets of Chicago by the end of the year (Journal Gazette & Times Courier)
New Rule: America’s Wet Markets | Real Time with Bill Maher (YouTube)
New Rule: Virus Shaming | Real Time with Bill Maher (YouTube)
Bill Maher dropped the n-word on live TV (Vox)
Bill Maher’s Weird, Effortful Apology for Saying the N-Word (New Yorker)
Bill Maher Goes Full Sexist, Defends Chris Matthews and Mocks His Sexual Harassment Accuser (Daily Beast)
Seven Minutes Of Bill Maher’s Bigotry (YouTube)
Bill Maher Is Shameful (Fat Vegan Voice)
Bill Maher asks people to fat shame more. (YouTube)
In this week’s mini episode, the Bearded Vegans decide to take a break from the pandemic doom and gloom and review the first episode of Saved By The Barn, a new show on Animal Planet that follows the adventures of Dan McKernan who left his desk job to start a farmed animal sanctuary. The show is being marketed as the anti-Tiger King. They’ll see if it is the response that the animals need.
Watch Saved By The Barn for free on Animal Planet.