Vegucated is a must see for anyone considering a vegan lifestyle. It’s also very helpful viewing for vegans who want to get a handle on how to discuss veganism with others in a nonthreatening or non-confrontational way.
In the interest of full disclosure, Vegucated, is single handedly responsible for taking me (ShellyB) out of the mostly “plant based” with a little “ethical meat” camp and plunking me firmly into the vegan community. With that said let’s dive into what you can expect from this movie.
What Vegucated Is…
The makers of this movie asked three meat’n cheese loving folks from New York to get “Vegucated”. That is, to eat a vegan diet for six weeks and be open minded as they are exposed to the reasons why people choose to be vegan. Using humor, compassion and deep respect for the participants individual truth, Vegucated takes you on a voyage of discovery right along with the three participants selected from the many who applied.
The film then documents these three people’s lives from the party they throw to say good bye to meat on their last night before the experiment begins to how they choose to live their lives after the six week journey ends. Along the way you get to see how their family and friends react to their new lifestyle. All of the dialogues are insightful though not always supportive, as you might expect.
What We Liked Best About Vegucated…
The best thing about Vegucated is how approachable they make the topic of veganism. They provide the facts in a non-preachy way to REAL PEOPLE and you get to see them react to that. Plain and simple.
We appreciate how different each of the volunteers were from one another. Even though they were all from New York there was a nice cross section of ethnicity, age and sex represented. And we were pleasantly surprised that many of the issues that crop up for us were talked about by at least one of the three.
The participants even dig deeper into the subject for themselves and do quite a bit of fact checking on what has been told to them instead of taking everything at face value. Being, obsessive fact checkers ourselves, we appreciate this very much.
For example, Ellen, a single mom with two middle school age kids, calls a “free range” chicken farm and asks questions about how the operation works. She is very polite and respectful of this person and his time, but as the conversation progresses you can see her kids go from giggling at the absurdity of mom doing this to utter silence and disbelief at what they are learning about their food.
The film stayed focused on the intellectual and emotional journey of the three folks who took up the challenge. This allows us, the viewers, to “live it” vicariously thru their eyes. And forces the film makers to keep their focus tight.
What We Liked Least About Vegucated
The scenes involving standard animal agriculture practices including but not limited to slaughter house footage are very hard to watch. Luckily, they are blessedly brief.
We recognize they are a necessary and even vital part of the film. Because even if folks choose not to adopt a vegan lifestyle they should be totally aware of how their food reaches their plates.
All that being said, they are what we liked least about this film. Yet we would NOT ask them to be removed.
Other reviewers online have found the following to be drawbacks…
- Promotes bad health by pointing out some processed junk foods are already vegan such as Oreos.
- Promotes bad health by pointing out that some vegan versions of existing meat and dairy products are soy based.
- Promotes bad health and planetary doom by sharing that some vegan shoes are made with plastics.
- Fails to share that Kosher slaughter houses exist.
What? All I can say is these people missed the purpose of this film! It doesn’t aim to, nor could it, address all the ills we humans inflict on ourselves or the planet via our diets.
Vegucated is about introducing the concept of veganism to non-vegans. It’s goal is to helping them see there is a viable alternative to raising animals who understand love, suffering and pain simply so we can slaughter them, humanely or otherwise, at an obscenely young age. In many cases less than a year for an animal who’s natural life expectancy is 25+ years.
Will Vegucated convince everyone who watches it to adopt a cruelty free vegan lifestyle like it did for me? Obviously not, but it will at the very least give them food for thought and serve as a leaping off point for conversations about veganism. And once a vegan seed is planted, you never know when it will decide to grow. We highly recommend this film.