Is there anything humorous about animal activists?

I’m glad you asked, because the answer is yes! As proof, here are two servings of vegetarian comedy — and that’s not an oxymoron.

Instead of a Meatless Monday, how about a Fun-filled Friday? A day when we devote this space to the lighter side of the bitter battle between wild-eyed, over-the-top, crazed veggie extremists . . .

. . .and normal people.

To be honest, the humor in pro-vegetarian commentary tends to be unintentional, but there are a few genuine laughs to be had. In a moment, I want to share a portrait of “The Vegan Comic,” one Myq Kaplan His first name is pronounced "Mike;” actual name is Michael. But first, let’s check out a truly inspired, seriously sarcastic campaign launched by the Vegetable Rights Militant Movement.

The group’s website www.vegetablecruelty.com contains any number of strident stories about “protecting our defenseless plant cousins,” “humanity’s brutal domination of the plant kingdom” and “treating the chlorophyll class among us with respect and dignity.”

Along with the image you see here, which I’m turning into a poster for my office, of a “Vegan Slaughterhouse,” the VRMM activists, also known as “vegetable liberationists,” offer several hard-hitting tales of pro-veggies advocacy, such as:

  • An Austrian farmer named Josef Holzer, who operates Kramterhof, “Europe’s Oldest Permaculture Farm.” As the VRM story describes it, Holzer’s farm is a showcase for vegetable rights. “While still ultimately killing and eating many of the fruits and vegetables grown on the farm, it is clear that it is done in the most humane way possible. And of course, the farm dispenses justice on the four-legged herbivores that feast on our green cousins non-stop, so they’ve got that going for them, as well.”
  • An initiative to monitor the civil rights of carrots, broccoli, cucumbers and other veggies, noting that the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology ruled that “plants are entitled to a certain amount of dignity.”
  • An investigation into a whether Brussels sprouts or artichokes suffer when plucked. Studies report that plants undeniably feel anguish and often are eaten while still alive. One activist charged that potato peelers are instruments of torture to the tubers. [However,] “even if plants do feel pain, remember that cows, sheep and other farm creatures eat plants before humans eat the animals.”
  • ·“Have you ever watched a Will It Blend? video and turned away in squeamish horror, and later awkwardly laughed at yourself for doing so? Have you been moved to speak for those who have no vocal chords and no motor function at all? Welcome to The Plantrix.”

You gotta love clever skewering of the animal activist messaging, only turned toward protection of vegetables that can’t speak for themselves. Genius.

Comedy clips

Along with lampooning solidarity with plants, vegetarian humor also boasts its own stand-up comedian, the aforementioned Myq Kaplan, the self-proclaimed Vegan Comic whose Vegan Mind Meld comedy album contained a much-repeated joke:

“Did you know that vegans live 15 years longer? Because we don’t get invited anywhere fun or dangerous. Instead, we sit home crying and drinking, being careful not to cry into the drink, because tears are a product of animal suffering.”

That effort aside, Kaplan is actually a pretty funny guy, albeit one who trades in Seinfeld-esque observations. His shtick’s a bit bland, to be sure, but then again, so’s a vegetarian diet.

But judge for yourself. Here are a few of his punch lines:

  • “I’m Jewish, but not I’m not really uber Jewish. I mean, c’mon. I’m using German to describe how Jewish I am.”
  • "Someone wished me Happy St. Valentine’s Day recently, and I had to tell them, 'Oh — I’m sorry. I’m Jewish. We don’t believe in happiness.'”
  • “Don’t you love how authors wait until the movie comes out, then they re-release their book with a picture of the actor on it, to trick people who don’t read into buying the book? It didn’t work for the movie Fight Club, though, even with Brad Pitt on the cover. I guess the first rule of the Fight Club book is, Don’t be a book.”
  • "I like the Buddhist religion, although you don’t really see any extremists there. A Buddhist extremist is really just a guy taking a longer nap, right?”
  • “My wife and I have an open relationship. We’re very honest about it; we’re both seeing other people. It’s a very open relationship — it’s called a divorce.”

Okay, so Kaplan’s no comedy giant, but with all the vitriol swirling around the vegan activist movement, it’s actually refreshing to get a chuckle or two from a comedian who, while I might buy him a drink — hold the tears — I probably wouldn’t have him over for dinner.

Dan Murphy is a food-industry journalist and commentator.