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Carnage: Swallowing the Past Review



Carnage: Swallowing the Past is a mockumentary by Simon Amstell set in the future (2067) where Britain is vegan.

This film may be a historical first. As the Independent puts it Simon Amstell has made the world's first vegan comedy that's actually funny

Why is Carnage so important?
1. It isn't preachy 
2. It clearly lays out the facts in a safe setting 
3. It doesn't blame anyone who eats meat, fish dairy or eggs
4. It shows how ridiculous vegans can be 

Personally, I don't think that spreading veganism is a requirement to being vegan. All that's required to be a vegan is to just not use animal products.

However, I do feel that it's important for vegans to try and spread the vegan message because if not, what's the point of being vegan? 

Of course it's better for your own health and body, but if just one more person becomes vegan does it really have any effect on the lives of the animals or the environment? No. It's only when everyone stops eating meat and dairy that the animals and environment stop suffering. 

So I think it's important for vegans to gently show other people what veganism is about (to essentially get them to convert). 

But how do you do that without being a preachy arsehole or attacking other people?

By trying to spread the vegan message many vegans (myself included) end up further alienating people who are politely curious. 


So what's the answer? Simon Amstell.

Simon Amstell has created a very clever mockumentary which calls out carnists (the new word for non-vegans) and vegans alike without shaming anyone. Really specifically without shaming anyone - there's even a section where a group of recovering carnists yell 'no shame'. 

As it's set in the future with a comedy note throughout, it sets a safe environment that anyone can enjoy. You constantly have to remind yourself that everything said before 2017 is a fact. Because lots of it is so strange! - taking your kids to watch Babe and then out afterwards for a Babe-themed McDonalds meat meal = strange! Using sex to sell cow juice  (also known as milk) = strange! Remembering not to name or get too attached to the turkeys you will eventually slaughter = strange! - imagine if you did that with humans. 

I LOVED how it portrayed vegans: it shows real footage of dull vegans from the past, showed how it's okay to be a sexy vegan nowadays like Brad Pitt and Ariana Grande - 'it was okay to be vegan as long as people wanted to have sex with you anyways.'

But my favourite were the vegans of 2067 - literally just the hipsters of today. A cartooned version of everything everyone hates about vegans - middle class, wimpy, naive. 

Simon Amstell touches on almost all the reasons people are vegan today - we go through the health reasons (obesity, heart disease etc, mad cow disease, swine flu); the environmental reasons (animal agriculture ruining the planet); the animal right's reasons (male chicks cruelly killed, milk cows molested, pigs shot in the head);

He makes it very clear that he doesn't blame carnists:

"It's very cruel for youngest today to ask why people did what they did. We couldn't have known that we were active participants in the slave trade, because the language at the time just suggested that we were eating our dinner"

"It's hard to break an abuse cycle, especially when the abused don't know they're being abused


I'm not saying this film will turn you vegan, but if you've ever wondered about any aspect of veganism it's a great place to get the facts in a non-depressing, non-judgemental way. 

It's also important for vegans themselves to watch, so they can check themselves and stop being judgemental and depressing (again, myself included). I desperately want other people to be vegan (for the animals, their own health and the environment), but that's got to come from a place of love, not hate. :D 



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