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Book Talk > Authors Insulting Vegans in their Novels

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message 1: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 554 comments Mod
I'm currently reading a novel that, overall, I was enjoying...until a random, very minor character was introduced and revealed to be vegan. Unfortunately, she was also described as a "ditsy yoga mom" and an anti-vaxxer who the main character thought was on drugs. "No, just vegan" was the response.

I was immediately taken out of the story!

I've read plenty of novels by non-vegans/vegetarians who include veg characters without the insults...I don't understand why, in a book published in 2019, authors can't be decent towards vegans...especially since this book in particular had an "animal lover" saving animals left behind in a hurricane!

Does anyone else have this problem? A one-time dig at veganism just...ruining a book for you?


message 2: by Ayoola (new)

Ayoola | 48 comments I feel like I've experienced that more in TV shows. And it just always seems to come out of nowhere for no reason. Like, I remember watching Titans, and one character was making steak for everyone and said to one character, "It'd be a huge letdown if you're vegan."

And actually, now that you mention it, two podcasts that I listened to recently went on anti-vegan rants. For one of the ones that did that, I haven't really listened since, even though I liked it.


message 3: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 554 comments Mod
Ayoola wrote: "I feel like I've experienced that more in TV shows. And it just always seems to come out of nowhere for no reason. Like, I remember watching Titans, and one character was making steak for everyone ..."

This is something I think the show Superstore gets right. One of the main characters is vegan, but the show isn't rude about it.

But yeah, I've watched plenty of shows that have that same attitude. I can almost excuse it when the show/book/whatever is *older*, but if it's 2019-20 and writers still have that attitude? Yikes.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Tessa wrote: "Ayoola wrote: "I feel like I've experienced that more in TV shows. And it just always seems to come out of nowhere for no reason. Like, I remember watching Titans, and one character was making stea..."

The only positive vegan experience I ever saw on TV was on the show "Green eggs and ham" on Netflix. At first, it seemed like Sam was mocking her by asking if she was ill but once she explained what a vegan was, he offered her to make a vegan version of green eggs and ham. It was nice seeing it treated with respect and understanding, especially in a kids show.

As for books, I mostly read how all vegetarians are weak and pale losers or hippies with superiority complexes. What I don't get is that vegans existed for a long time, why is vegetarian = vegan? Like, we all seen characters who are all animals rights and against testing on animals but will still be called themselves vegetarian when vegan seems a more fit label.


message 5: by Tessa (new)

Tessa (trisstessa) | 554 comments Mod
Kendal wrote: "Tessa wrote: "Ayoola wrote: "I feel like I've experienced that more in TV shows. And it just always seems to come out of nowhere for no reason. Like, I remember watching Titans, and one character w..."

Ooh, I'd be interested in watching that! I'm fascinated by veg representation in all kinds of media - how they're presented, how other characters react to them, etc. My husband and I were watching How I Met Your Mother and Dollface, and big turning points for us in deciding not to continue them were when both shows used veganism as a punchline.

The superior hippie thing is all over the place, it's so annoying! Also, re: using "vegetarian" as opposed to "vegan," we read The Vegetarian by Han Kang, which is set and was published in Korea in 2007, diet-wise, the character is definitely vegan but vegetarian is used. I wonder if sometimes "vegan" isn't a word that people consider, depending on when and where the novel was published/takes place.

Another thing I've noticed a lot in the books I'm reading is the characters going to vegan places and having a favorite restaurant that's vegan...and then they're gushing about how much they love cheese (and I'm pretty sure they're not talking about vegan cheese lol). It's not necessarily a complaint, but I do find it funny.


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