Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vegans in movies

I've spoken before about the lack of good female characters in films and even made a list of female friendly films and even touched on issues with asian male characters in films but not about the lack of good vegan characters. Probably because they are so rare and the few characters do exist are either quite militant, very wacky and well just not positive. It's hard enough to find good vegetarian characters in films let alone vegan ones.

Mr T and I watched the year of the dog, not knowing that one of the characters is vegan and the main character played by Molly Shannon actually decides to become vegan quite early in the film. We were both sitting there getting excited that veganism was being shown in a positive light and while the characters were slightly weird they were great compared to other movies. I mentioned to Mr T there must be a negative turn, and unfortunately I was right. The main character become very unhinged: she almost takes her young neice to a factory farm, she adopts and keeps 15 dogs inside her house, she forges cheques out to animal rights types organisations and then she breaks into her neighbours house and comes after him with a knife. The movie did kind of redeem itself a little in the last 1 minute in which the main character decides that animal rights/animals is what she loves and that she is going to follow it and seems to be slightly healthier. It was however really disappointing especially considering the director Michael White is vegan. What were you thinking Michael White?

Has anyone ever seen a film (non animal rights one) with positive vegan character/s?


  1. I'll have to think about this for awhile but as soon as I read this post I was reminded of an episode of "Wife Swap" I saw a few days ago...(I'm a bit ashamed to admit I love that show!) There was a vegan lady who was one of the wives and I thought it was going well, not portraying her as a psycho UNTIL it was revealed that she's trying to train her body to gain energy from the sun by staring at it. She thought this would solve world hunger. ugh.

    I actually can't even think of ANY vegan characters in films...will have to ponder over it. My favourite vegan from television though is Mrs Kim from Gilmore Girls...she's a nut and only a vegan 'cos she's a 7th Day Adventist, but I love her!

  2. The only vegan i can think of is the slut in the bad teen flick "John Tucker must die" why oh why do they portray us as such dumbasses...
    -Claire x

  3. Interesting post. I will have to think about this. And I would *love* to see Year of the Dog. Is it out on video?

  4. Good question. It sure can't include the fruitarian in "Notting Hill". She was there only to be laughed at.
    In "The Matrix" they eat a protein mix that may or may not be vegan, and comment that it has everything the body needs. Interesting maybe in a film that shows humans being "factory farmed"... guess that's partly why we ended up with the "Meatrix" films online.

  5. Louise, I love Gilmore Girls yet didn't Mrs Kim is vegan.

    Claire, that's suck!

    Theresa, yes I got it in the weekly section at the video shop. I would love to hear what you think of it when you do watch it.

    Drossolalia, no definitely not the fruitarian!

  6. In 27 Dresses the lead male says he used to be vegan but it was too hard which is annoying because he plays some eco guy who is apparently really into saving the Earth.

    And recently in Baby Mama the lead male and female go to a raw vegan restaurant on a date because each of them thought the other was vegan. They hate it and realise they are omnis so they both go on about how they love meat which then cuts to them getting disgusting take away meat based food.

    I always sit up excitedly and then BAM - I get hit with the negative sterotypes.

  7. I've been asking myself this same question about books lately. Characters in the books I read always seem to be eating meat and I can't recall the last time, if ever, I read a novel where one of the characters was even vegetarian, let alone vegan. On the same note, I can't add anything to the list of movies with vegan characters (not portrayed as lunatics), but wanted to throw the book element into the conversation.