To Vegan or not to Vegan? That seems to be a current question. It seems like you are either a hardcore vegan or you hate all things vegan. Is there a middle ground? I’m not sure as I have not found one.
This week I will be critiquing a YouTube video called “If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans.” This video is poking fun at the stereotype that all vegans are obsessed with their veganism; that they introduce that fact about themselves before they introduce their name; that they look down upon those who are not vegans. This video is similar to other videos that focus on things like “if men acted like women,” or “if women catcalled men.” While the intention of these videos, and the one I have chosen, is to be funny and not make people feel bad, I apologize if anyone is offended. That was not my intention.
What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story?
- The authors/actors in this story are making a parody of things that vegans say to non-vegans. The main guy has taken many arguments used by vegans to defend their lifestyle and turned them around. For example, he is repulsed by a woman eating a salad, he asks for a tofu-flavored meat replacement for a meal, etc.
How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story?
- The creator of this story is obviously aware of the stereotypes that exist about Vegans and so is able to create a “story-line” for his video making fun of these aspects.
- Although it is not a vitally important debate to most people’s everyday lives, there does seem to be tension between vocal vegans and vocal non-vegans. The authors of this story are aware of this hot topic and have used it to their advantage.
What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story?
- I found this video on YouTube, and have come across many similar parody video through Facebook and Instagram.
- The issue of a vegan diet, and whether or not it is a healthy choice, is often written/blogged about. I have seen and read many articles in The New York Times, in Women’s Health Magazine, and in Health and Nutrition newsletters that address both benefits and risks associated with a vegan lifestyle.
Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement?
- I think this video could benefit from music. At certain points there seems to be music in the background, but it is hard to hear and seems to distract from the story more than add to it. Instead of having music on while filming the story, they could add music in after filming as they are editing the video.
- I also think it could add to the humor of the parody if one of the “vegetable eaters” had a retort for what the Meat Eater said to them. Or even a focus on their facial expression.