There’s a fine line between laughing with someone, and laughing at them.
A video clip titled, “What If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans” definitely crossed that line more than once.
Which is why it’s dead-on accurate, and hilariously funny.
The segment appears on the DnaIndia.com website — which I’ve never heard of — and features a comic talent, stage name J.P. Sears, whom I’ve also never heard of, but whose “concerned, caring carnivore” act will have you laughing out loud.
No matter which side of meat-vs.-not-meat fence you’re on.
The running gag throughout the 3-minute clip is the absurdity of listening to the “wisdom” of a true believer, only one who believes as passionately in eating meat as any soy-saturated veggie-vegan who ever lived.
Of course, writing about a video rarely does it justice, but consider just a few teasers from the script:
- Scene opens in a restaurant as J.P. and his girlfriend order lunch] “Um, I’d like the tofu spring rolls, but I don’t eat tofu, so do you have, like, a tofu-flavored chicken you could substitute for me?”
- [Lecturing his girlfriend as she’s holding some broccoli] “Eating plants makes your body way too alkaline — which will definitely kill you. Do you really want that?”
- [Rapping with a fellow carnivore-believer] “Orcas are even more spiritually evolved than humans, and they only eat seal meat. So that means humans should only eat meat, because it’s the most spiritually evolved diet.”
- [Lecturing (again) to his girlfriend] “Plants give off live-giving oxygen. Why would you want to eat them? What is wrong with you?”
- [Again, with the lecturing his girlfriend bit] “That coconut was going to grow up to become a palm tree. How dare you eat that?”
Gray area? What gray area?
Yes, it’s sometimes goes beyond humor and begins to border on cruelty to actually laugh at someone else’s, shall we say, ideological quirks? But the ability to step back and see ourselves as others do, with all the attendant irony and hypocrisy we often unwittingly exhibit, is the very essence of the humor gene.
If you can’t laugh at yourself and your very human foibles, something’s wrong with your worldview.
None of us are perfect, and none of us are really in a position to be preaching to others about how they should live their lives.
Not until we achieve perfection, and that hasn’t happened yet.
Which is why it’s extremely difficult to engage in even the most light-hearted of conversations with confirmed vegans. They see nothing funny about the subject of one’s diet, yours or their own. It’s a life-and-death matter — literally — as far as they’re concerned, and there is no gray area to be found in the subject of meat-eating.
It’s all black and white.
Make that all black, you heartless, demon-spawn carnivore.
To close his “Ultra Spiritual Channel” video segment, Sears gets in one last comic take on the vegetarian message, and it’s spot-on:
[Earnestly explaining “the facts” to a neophyte meat-eater] “Man, I could never eat plants raised on crowded farms in inhumane living conditions, with less than one square inch of space per stalk . . . stuck in the soil against their will.”
Like so many vegan “truisms,” there is just enough of a kernel of truth in such statements to make it believable.
If you’re already a true believer, that is.
And therein lies the difficulty in trying to dialogue about anything with pretty much every vegan I’ve ever met.
But if we can’t talk with them, we can still laugh — . . . well, about them.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Dan Murphy, a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator.