(Mis)representing veganism in film and television

Cole, Matthew and Stewart, Kate (2021). (Mis)representing veganism in film and television. In: Wright, Laura ed. The Routledge Handbook of Vegan Studies. London: Routledge, pp. 319–332.

URL: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.4324/9...

Abstract

This chapter examines the media representation of vegans and veganism, focusing on detailed case studies of two films that feature vegan protagonists and themes: Year of the Dog (2007) and Beatriz at Dinner (2017). The chapter approaches the films through the lens of a vegan standpoint methodological framework. The framework provides a set of seven analytical themes that attend to the extent to which media: supports nonhuman animals; promotes consciousness of human species-privilege; critiques the social construction of nonhuman animals; facilitates awareness of the structural conditions of nonhuman oppression; facilitates empathy; highlights intersectionality; and reflexively critiques its impact on nonhuman animals. After outlining these themes, the chapter applies them to our previous research in order to highlight that mainstream media tends to reproduce an “ideal type” of anti-veganism. By contrast, Year of the Dog and Beatriz at Dinner provide a counterpoint to the hegemony of anti-vegan media representations and provide a hopeful pathway toward pro-vegan (and therefore pro-nonhuman animal) media representations.

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