To be or not to be… mentioned?

So, I’m laughing out loud at some great jokes in a recent Tina Fey movie, Baby Mama (alright, 2008 is not that recent, but I’m depending on TMN to update me these days!) and then it happens. It has happened before, most notably in Barnyard, a less than stellar animated flick about life in a barn. Of course, it doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, I notice.

By “it” I mean the word “vegan” comes up or at least something similar like “vegetarian” or “raw organic” and then you wait to see where they go with it. Sadly, I can’t say I can think of an instance where it goes well for those of us on the herbivore side, and maybe that’s why most of the jokes fall flat for me.

However, the question I often find myself asking, and the one I’m posing right now, is:

Is it better to be mentioned in mainstream movies like an animated children’s movie or a teen to mid-twenties movie now as more of a punchline than to not be mentioned at all? Historically, it seems like this would be one of the steps towards the V word becoming part of the normal make-up of a Hollywood story. Jump back ten years or more to see how gays or lesbians were portrayed (granted, in some regards we’re not much further now), and go back further to see how other ethnic backgrounds were used as comedic fodder (sadly, after seeing 30mins of the Love Guru last night, I’m wondering if this one has barely inched ahead). So, is being something that offends a group of cows and chickens who feel not eating dairy and eggs is offensive (nod of the hat to the industry for this sly brainwash tactic) in a film today a baby step towards being a strong, healthy part of a lead role in the future?

I’m hopeful that it is. I’ve never been one to say that there is a line in comedy, and some of the funniest people to me are the ones who go well past the “norm” with their jokes, but tonight I couldn’t help but think that I know raw vegan food is much better than a yeast ball and dark green, limp seaweed on a plate.

hungry either way,


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