Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Humor Toward Vegans?

I was perusing College Humor when I decided to do a search for anything they had relevant to the term 'vegan'. I had expected most of the results I got to be humor made at vegans' expense, but some of the results I found seemed to be much more sinister than that.

You were a vegan. You decided to constantly tell us how disgusting we were for eating meat, dairy, and the multitude of other things that even partially contain animal products. So one day, when you weren't there, I microwaved some beef stew. Then I sprinkled the broth all over your bed. You slept in cow death for weeks before you washed those sheets. I still smile a little bit every time I think of it.
Danielle Pierce, Kent State University

Sean. You're a wonderful guy, but living together means sharing responsibilities. Like washing up. Or buying new toilet paper. Or not having your idiotic girlfriend over and stealing my parking spot. So I know you're a vegan and made me get a separate fridge for my meat and beer, but you can't keep cooking that foul-smelling crap before you go to class at 6 in the morning. So you remember that one time that your tofurkey tasted so delicious? I took it upon myself to smear everything that belonged to you in the fridge with my bacon. And your door handle. And your toothbrush. Isn't veganism delicious?
Jimmy English, The College of New Jersey

Freshman year, my roommate was the definition of a pussy. The thing that pissed me off most was that he was a vegan. I would eat a burger and he would bitch me out. So one night me an bunch of buddies from our dorm filled his bed with lobsters and steak. His reaction was priceless. He flipped shit and ran out of the room crying. He went home and didn't come back for two weeks. He immediately filed for a room change and when he came to get his shit out of our dorm, he wouldn't even look at me.
Mike, School Not Given

I understand that to most people these will seem like innocent college pranks done in good humor. I know I have quite the rap sheet of pranks from my college days as well. Nonetheless, suppose for a moment that these pranks were pulled not against vegans, but against strictly religious students. A female is bothered by the strict lifestyle her Muslim roommate is constantly trying to push, so she puts pork in her burqa. A male student is bothered by his strict Jewish roommate not sharing his kosher silverware, so he covers his bed in shellfish. These aren't innocent pranks, they are acts of property damage done against someone because of their religious beliefs and would be considered in many areas to be hate crimes.

I'm not trying to argue that these pranks should be treated like violent crimes because a religion is involved. Unlike what the AETA seems to claim, property damage is not terrorism. Nonetheless, these are still criminally harmful acts. Yet the only difference between the religious examples and what has been done to these vegans is that the ethical beliefs in the case of the vegans do not require an appeal to the supernatural, and thus the vegans receive less protection under the law. In the United States, at the very least, people receiving less protection under the law because of their religion, including the lack of religion, should be viewed as a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. I am admittedly no legal expert, but I would love to see the FFRF or the ACLU take up the case of one of these vegan students.

This isn't to say humor can't be made at the expense of vegans. I found this example which did a fine job of it:

Real roommate ad 1:
"I'm 24, vegan, easy to get along with. I tend to be a bit clutter-happy, but keep the common areas tidy. I like to have guests over now and then, yours can come too! Would like to keep the kitchen vegetarian if possible."

Translation: I'm 24, passive-aggressive and self-righteous. I'm a hoarder, but if you push my stuff out of the way, you can sit down on the couch. I like to have guests over at all hours. Yours can come too, but should be willing to engage in vegetarian activities. Don't dare bring meat or milk into my apartment or I'll slaughter you in your sleep. Did I mention I was vegan?

1 comment:

  1. reading this post made me angry(and sort of sad). there's a fine line between being funny, and just being mean spirited. if i was that vegan kid who found the meat and crap all his bed, i probably would have just transfered it too my roommate's bed instead ^^.