Friday, January 18, 2013

Get "Vegucated" about the real low-fat diet (and ethics, and protecting the environment, too)


In “Vegucated”  (directed by Marisa Miller Wolfson), a young woman recruits three other New Yorkers to go on a vegan diet, for both health and perhaps ethical reasons.  One of the three (Brian Flegel) works as a bartender.   Vegan dietary rules are stricter than vegetarian.

The tag team goes on a road trip, visiting corporate and smaller family farms (it appears, in upstate New York) to see how farm animals and poultry are treated.

Bottom-line pressures have forced agriculture to treat animals very badly, to say the least, and there are workarounds pertaining to animal cruelty laws.  Milk cows are impregnated artificially and their calves are taken away.  Pigs (and piglets) are treated pretty much as in the 1995 Australian black comedy “Babe” (a film that gets mentioned).   Poultry is herded by machines that often amputate body parts.

The film also maintains that meat production and consumption puts more carbon into the atmosphere than fossil fuel use in cars.  I would question that.  It also suggests that bovine flatulence, which exudes methane, adds to greenhouse gasses.  But global temperatures didn’t rise until the 20th Century, centuries and millennia after animals were domesticated.  The film correctly says that domestication of animals for consumption increased as humans moved into colder climates in prehistoric and ancient times.

At the end of the film, the trio takes a health physical, showing weight loss and reduction of blood pressure, without the need for medication.
   
Former president Bill Clinton is a big advocate of the vegan diet, and most formal dinner events offer vegan menus.  Often a Portobello mushroom substitutes for meat.  One food mentioned in the film is tofu, a soy product.  An intentional community in central Virginia called “Twin Oaks” manufactures tofu as one of its businesses (issues blog, April 7, 2012).

There reports that Adam Lanza, reported as the shooter at Newtown, had insisted on a vegan diet in order not to cause the deaths of animals -- and yet he suddenly did what he did.  


The official site for this “completely independent film”  is here

The film plays full-screen from Netflix Instant play.

There was a vegan restaurant on 17th Street in Washington DC, between JR’s and the First Baptist Church, that served delicious meals but it has closed.  

Pictures: from Twin Oaks, VA (my one-day visit, April, 2012).  

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