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Category Archive: Film, TV, & Video

Here are all the SuperVegan blog posts categorized under Film, TV, & Video. XML

  1. A packed theatre for the premiere of Speciesism: The Movie

    A packed theatre for the premiere of Speciesism: The Movie

    Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of Speciesism: The Movie, the first film by director Mark Devries, at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan. I attended the event free as press.

    Overall, I will say first and foremost that while this film wasn’t earth-shattering, it was good. There are a lot of really terrible social issue and activist documentaries out there, both in terms of production quality and content, and comparatively Speciesism was better than most when it came to content. It’s definitely a film I would recommend to someone who is curious about animal rights and/or veganism.

    The first half of the film chronicles a young, omnivorous Devries as he seeks to figure out the truth behind factory farming, becoming vegan in the process. He visits factory farms where he is repeatedly turned away, visits the PETA offices, goes to the HSUS headquarters, talks to folks from Mercy for Animals and other well-known animal rights groups, who all basically say similar things: exploiting animals, using factory farming as the prime example, is horrible and we shouldn’t do it. Devries also visits North Carolina, where he documents how hog farms (specifically hog waste lagoons) are destroying the North Carolina ecosystem, which was a specific example that I feel boosted the film’s argument. Overall, the first half of the film may not be especially interesting to vegan folks, because it’s a lot of the same stuff we’ve seen and read about. Yes, these are important things that need to be publicized and included in a movie about speciesism, but as far as entertainment goes, you might be a little bored hearing Ingrid Newkirk say the same things you’ve heard before.

    The second half of the film, however, was what redeemed the first half for me. Devries delve deeper into the ethical and moral arguments about why we value non-human animals less than we do humans. He talked to authors, philosophers, professors, special needs caretakers, Holocaust survivors and people he stopped on the street about how we view human suffering and why as a species we consider non-human animal suffering to be less important. The points made and the conclusion Devries draws are hard to dispute, and he conveys his argument in a compelling way.

    What I liked the most about Devries’ film was that he didn’t focus on the health aspects of veganism, which is a route many recent “vegan documentaries” have taken (I’m looking at you, Forks Over Knives). There was no fat shaming, there were no vegan body builders (actually, there was one, but his purpose was to briefly debunk the protein myth) or moving story about how a large man with high blood pressure was completely transformed after he stopped eating meat. I almost wanted to hug Devries for not including any of that.

    I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with vegan body builders, normal blood pressure or someone choosing to lose weight, but I have a problem with health and weight loss being the primary ways in which many people frame and discuss veganism in order to appeal to non-vegans. Because while I love food (food tastes good), I believe there are more compelling reasons to become vegan.

    There is a brief discussion of food and eating vegan, but the main message being conveyed is that it’s not that hard to adopt a vegan diet and you don’t have to give up many of the foods you enjoy. I feel like when you’re trying to convince people to stop contributing to the exploitation of non-human animals, talking about what you eat on a daily basis is something you should at least mention.

    Overall, if you have the chance, I suggest checking out Speciesism, perhaps with a non-vegan or two.

  2. Ladies, Gentlemen, Mammals of all orders,

    I have a secret to spill:

    GoVeggie! or as I like to call it, Go Veggie Exclamation Point (GVEP), formerly known as Galaxy Nutritional Foods (which never had astronomical imagery as part of its branding, nor was it made on the moon), a switch I wrote about earlier, are the makers of the new vegan cheese products available at Trader Joe’s (a store that is so very good to us). Their new and improved shreds are their shreds, and their new and improved cream cheese is their Not Your Average Tub Of Cream Cheese (which I think should be called Above Average Cream Cheese). How did I find this out? I never kiss and tell! Wait. Yes, I do: some good ol’ fashioned sleuthin’ and um, this blog post.

    To celebrate all the cheesy goodness, GVEP threw a rager last night that was hosted, and when I say hosted, I mean “Hi, how are you, thanks so much for coming, I’m Heather, let me feed your face!” HOSTED by the effervescent energy balls (but pretty), the Spork Sisters, Jenny and Heather. There were people; like Rory Freedman, who has given up cursing (oh, the irony for a Skinny Bitch!) and has a new book called Beg: A Radical New Way Of Regarding Animals coming out on April 23rd. Television’s Jason Wrobel who is waiting to hear if the pilot episode of his Cooking Channel show How To Live To 100 did well enough to get picked-up and in the interim told us all about the importance of Vitamin K2 (which sounds like Scrubbing Bubbles for your heart). And my friend The Insufferable Vegan and I both masquerading as QuarryGirl.

    There was Sporktastic food:

    Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 12.02.34 PM

    Cream Cheese and Olive Tapenade Layered Dip, Mini Mediterranean Pita Pizza Bites, Saffron Scented Arancini with Mushrooms

    There was drink:

    frey wine

    Courtesy Frey Wines— America’s First Organic Winery

    And there was a cooking demo, where I learned pepper is now just called ‘pep’ and a Vita-Mix is a ‘Vity’:


    Heather & Jenny make basil oil!

    And best of all, for one lucky SuperVegan reader (that could be you!) there’s a copy of Spork-Fed, the cookbook any vegan who wants to make Strawberry Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast must own, the cookbook I personally had signed by both sisters just for you, PLUS a coupon for one free GVEP product!

    To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment (make sure to leave an e-mail address!) telling us about the best or worst vegan cheese dish you’ve ever eaten, by Monday at noon, PT. Good luck!

  3. Did you know we have a NYC Vegan events calendar here on SuperVegan? Well, we do. Here’s a list of some exciting happenings coming up this week.

    • See US Premier of “Cages of Shame”, a film documenting Animals Asia’s rescue of 10 bears from a bile farm in China. Q & A to follow. (Sat 4/14, 6-8pm. Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th Street, West Village.)
    • Stretch your compassion at Yoga for Bears, a yoga class, lunch, and fundraiser for Animals Asia. (Sun 4/14, 12-3:30. Jivamukti Yoga School NYC, 841 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Union Square.)
    • Visit Vegan Shop Up to buy ethical edibles and other goodies from local artisans. (Sun 4/15, 12-5pm. Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan St., Bushwick, Brooklyn.)
    • Drop in on Vegan Book Swap 3.0 to snatch up some vegan cookbooks or AR reads and support Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. (Mon 4/16, 6:30-8:30pm. Sustainable NYC, 139 Ave A, East Village)
    • Be heard at 2012 NYS Humane Lobby Day. Chartered buses and carpools make it easy for you to get your rear to Albany and encourage your elected representatives to put animals on the agenda. (Wed 4/18, 11am-4pm. Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany, NY)
  4. Did you miss the NYC premiere of Vegucated? Did you also miss the screening at Cynthia King‘s dance studio in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago? How about the one up at Columbia University that was the same night as January’s Vegan Drinks? Well, how fortunate for you that it’s playing again! And so conveniently located, too — Whole Foods Tribeca will host the screening on Wednesday, February 22 at 6:15. Viewers are encouraged to grab food before the movie and, after the film, join in for the Q-and-A with film subjects Ellen and Tesla and writer-director Marisa Miller Wolfson.

    Vegucated Screening
    Wednesday, February 22 at 6:15 p.m.
    Whole Foods Tribeca, 270 Greenwich Street, NYC