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How I Met Your Mother
VeGanesha Posted at 2011/04/04 2:06am reply to

VeGanesha
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I love this show, but are any other vegan viewers getting tired of the vegan jokes? I have seen two episodes so far where veganism is portrayed as some crazy, hippie fad.
Craig? Posted at 2011/04/04 10:20am reply to

Craig?
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I don't watch that show, but I think that's pretty much par for the course when it comes to the vegan portrayal on TV shows.  the EASY joke is to make us look like protein deficient hippies just happy to be against ANYTHING.  meh.  even Futurama went there.
Iron Clad Ben Posted at 2011/04/04 11:29am reply to

Iron Clad Ben
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Excuse me for being blunt, but fuck TV
VeGanesha Posted at 2011/04/04 5:45pm reply to

VeGanesha
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Really? What did Futurama do?
Iron Clad Ben, that was not the slightest bit helpful.
Ross Posted at 2011/04/04 6:54pm reply to

Ross
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I happen to like some TV shows as well happy (mostly HBO/Showtime, etc. ones)

But yeah, it's always annoying to see them portray vegans like that...
carrie Posted at 2011/04/04 8:42pm reply to

carrie
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Parenthood (an hour long drama on NBC) had a veggie story line. A five year old girl decides she wants to be a vegetarian. Her parents support her. Her mom says she doesn't want to break her spirit. Then the little girl's grandparents come babysit her one evening and have brought the girl's old favorite dinner, lasagna, with them - not knowing she's gone veggie. The girl's mom has prepared seitan for her dinner. The little girl refuses to eat either. Later on the little girl tells her mom that Grandpa forced her to eat meat. Then the mother is upset with Grandpa for not respecting the little girl's choice (though he actually did not force her to eat meat - he told her to make a choice and she refused either choice) Then Grandma says to the mother "you can't let your daughter call all the shots." The depiction of vegetarianism was a bit ambiguous, because they portrayed the little girl as being demanding because she was refusing to eat either the veggie or the meat choice. However, you could say that the portrayal was ultimately negative, because they showed the little girl choosing vegetarianism as not really invested in it or just involved in a childish whim. So even though it wasn't your typical "fruity vegan" media portrayal - they still managed to subtly discredit veganism.

(Yes, I am also a TV fan. awesome )
Not Wes Posted at 2011/04/04 8:46pm reply to

Not Wes
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http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-constantly-mentioning-he-doesnt-own-a-tel,429/

Hey, we haven't been mocked on mainstream tv since the early 90s. We're back!

In other TV news, Dr Oz made vegan cupcakes with Elmo. Hell yeah.
http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/healthy-cupcakes-art-smith-and-elmo
Iron Clad Ben Posted at 2011/04/05 11:34am reply to

Iron Clad Ben
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Sorry, I apologize that first comment wasn't constructive.

I will say this:

One of the fundamental humor engines for situation comedies is character stereotype that interact with each other and the conflict creates humor.  The more extreme the characters, the more conflict and humor you get.

Link with some explanation:
http://healthycomedy.com/procomedytraining.com/the-situation/

So any vegan in a sitcom is probably going to be an extreme.  The same goes for any religious or ethnic minorities; who arguably get a worse rap most times.  That is how sitcoms are done, like them or not.  But to get all bent out of shape about it really doesn't do anything to solve the problem.  Instead I think we should just try set good examples ourselves.
VeGanesha Posted at 2011/04/05 5:40pm reply to

VeGanesha
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Iron Clad Ben, you have a good point. I understand that extreme characters are much more interesting to watch and that when referring to vegans in TV shows, that is the obvious stereotype to use. I am sure it is all in good fun.

I wouldn't say that I am "bent out of shape" by it though. I'm not refusing to watch the show now because of this or trying to turn anyone against it. I just took note of it, didn't particularly appreciate it, and wanted to see how others felt. Now that you have managed to contribute a complete thought, I know how you feel about it.

I don't think I would mind if I felt like non-vegans didnt actually feel that way about us, because then we could all poke fun at stereotypes and laugh at ourselves, but I know too many people that are completely ignorant on anything vegan. Because so few people are knowledgeable about veganism, I think any representation they see on TV is going to have an influence on how they view vegans. Most people I know can't even fully grasp what vegan actually means.."You don't drink milk?! Man....but you still eat fish though, right?"
I feel like these kinds of jokes only reinforce ignorance and make compassion seem like a character flaw.

Gabriel Posted at 2011/04/06 10:59am reply to

Gabriel
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Because so few people are knowledgeable about veganism, I think any representation they see on TV is going to have an influence on how they view vegans. Most people I know can't even fully grasp what vegan actually means.."You don't drink milk?! Man....but you still eat fish though, right?"
>I feel like these kinds of jokes only reinforce ignorance and make compassion seem like a character flaw.
>
>

Amen.  

Now that veganism is in the mainstream, more people have heard the word, but the ones who actually understand it are few and far between.

Some particularly irritating portrayals of "vegans" include:

Lisa on "Six Feet Under" who is your stereotypical hippie nut-job but eats tuna when she's pregnant because she "needs the extra protein."

Todd the Vegan in "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" who turns out to be a chicken-eater.

The horrible, horrible lady on "Wife Swap" who was supposedly a hard-core vegan, but then ate alligator in Louisiana.
dannyv Posted at 2011/04/07 10:08am reply to

dannyv
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What bothers me most about this is that non vegans then believe this false stereotypes about vegans. So when people tell me "you're actually a nice vegan" it is most likely because the other vegans they know are fictional characters angry

But now how do we fix this. I usually just laugh along, even if it bothers me and then say something like: "but seriously, vegans are really not like that happy "
Craig? Posted at 2011/04/07 1:25pm reply to

Craig?
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carrie Posted at 2011/04/07 7:41pm reply to

carrie
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I'll be honest - that made me laugh. Do I lose my vegan card?
Craig? Posted at 2011/04/08 9:54am reply to

Craig?
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YES YOU DO CARRIE!!! (yoink!)
VeGanesha Posted at 2011/04/10 1:48am reply to

VeGanesha
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Yeah Craig, that made me laugh too. I am not against all jokes at the expense of what I believe in.
I liked this clip because there was actually some thought in the joke. They incorporated vegetarianism into the joke rather than the joke just being that vegetarianism exists. Also, I think that this is equally poking fun at how extreme vegans can be sometimes and how ridiculously ignorant non-vegans can be.
carrie Posted at 2011/04/10 4:32pm reply to

carrie
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Have any of you guys seen the "Vag Magazine" web series? It pokes fun at feminists, and I (a feminist) love it. VeGanesha, your last comment reminded me of it.

http://www.vagmagazine.tv/

VeGanesha Posted at 2011/04/13 2:51am reply to

VeGanesha
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You're right, Carrie! I Do like it. Only watched one episode so far, but it's pretty funny.
VeGanesha Posted at 2011/04/13 3:09am reply to

VeGanesha
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Lovin' it so far. I just wish they did without Reba.
sbryant8081 Posted at 2011/04/19 10:39pm reply to

sbryant8081
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Perhaps Gandhi would see it as a sign of progress.  As he said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” awesome
carrie Posted at 2011/04/20 1:24am reply to

carrie
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What an apt quote! VeGanesha, yes I think the Reba character is a little extraneous,  but otherwise it's hilarious. happy
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