So, as I browsed BBC iPlayer a few days ago, I briefly saw an advert for a show called Carnage with a huge picture of Simon Amstell right on the cover. It wasn’t that appealing in all honesty so I didn’t even bother to read the description and resorted to finding myself an episode of the classic QI instead. And then yesterday morning I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline I came across a petition shared by a friend to have the film shown on BBC 1. ‘Why is it so significant for someone to have started such a petition?’ I thought to myself. Oh little did I know…
This arguably genius film created by the comedian Simon Amstell has been dubbed a ‘mockumentary’ which takes place in the year 2067 whereby everyone has become vegan and people of the time reflect upon the huge and shocking meat industry of the past. It starts from 1944 onwards including much factual information about the development of veganism at the time before proceeding to create fictional content for entertainment purposes. From portraying therapy sessions for former traumatised meat eaters to women selling their breast mill in ally way streets, the humour is clearly not lacking. To be quite frank, it outright takes the piss out of veganism! Yet bizarrely it sends out a strong message about our current consumption of meat and the effects it has on our environment, which makes this film so unbelievably, profoundly clever.
I’ll be honest here and say that there’s no way in hell I will ever become a vegan. My reasons are purely selfish I know; it’s too much effort and it would mean cutting out lots of food that I love. It would also be rather expensive also, and I’m a student in enough debt as it is. However, what I watched has struck a cord with me in terms of the fact that I eat meat despite the abhorrent culture of the meat industry. I mostly follow a pescatarian diet so I don’t really tend to consume meats such as chicken and lamb that often but nevertheless, my reasons for doing so wasn’t because of anything to do with the treatment of animals but purely because I didn’t want to cook meat myself. If I am at home in Manchester however or in London with my grandparents, I will happily sit at the table and eat anything they put in front of me (which mostly tends to be a meat dish) and not feel guilty in the slightest. I’ve always been aware of the views of vegetarians and vegans believing it is wrong to eat animals and I’ve respected that but I’ve personally never had an opinion on the matter myself. I’ve never really cared.
So now I’m having a little dilemma. Should I stop being a flexible pescatarian and fully commit? Should I make an attempt at becoming a vegetarian? What I do know for sure however is that I need to think more about what I put in my mouth. The way animals are being breaded and treated is inhumane and wrong. So, Simon Amstell, I applaud you! I applaud you for your brilliant film concept and for finally opening my eyes to the horrors that human greed and developed. And to anyone who hasn’t watched Carnage yet, do it now!