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TV Review: Carnage


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It's 2067. We don't eat meat, dairy or eggs anymore. We don't wear skins or furs and its socially unacceptable to even think that that way of living is okay.

Simon Amstell's new mockumentary Carnage is out now on BBC iPlayer and it explores a future where animals are seen as equal to humans. 

Simon Amstell's Carnage

You may have heard of vegan films such as Cowspiracy or Earthlings, the former focusing on the environmental impact of consuming animal products and the latter showing harrowing slaughter house and hidden camera footage of animal testing facilities. As much as I adore them and credit them directly for convincing me to give up animal products, these films take a harsh approach and generally target those who aren't vegan or are ignorant to the cause with the intent of enlightening them. 

Carnage however, takes a different approach in convincing its audience of the benefits of veganism. It targets everyone. It works very subtly and uses comedy to address the fact that not all vegans are pushy. There are interjections of slaughterhouse footage, however that shouldn't be enough to put audience members off completely and the violence isn't on the level of Earthlings, which you'd need to be incredibly strong-willed to watch without either vomiting or crying.

The film opens with scenes of a utopia in 2067, following a group of young people dressed and acting like stereotypical hippy vegans; feeding each other and frolicking about in a meadow. It's nice to see that vegans can also make fun of themselves as well as the carnists. We're also shown a support group for older people who used to eat meat and how they're now mentally and emotionally scarred from the experience.

Carnage also brings to the forefront the absurdity of loving some animals such as dogs and cats yet being completely willing to eat an innocent lamb; the absurdity of loving films such as Babe or Free Willy yet being quite happy to eat a pig or suck up 50 sea creatures just to get one mackerel.

Featuring the health concerns of animal products and the diseases that can spread from farming such a high number of animals was also an interesting way of portraying the positives of veganism. KFC, McDonald's and Burger King are portrayed very negatively as you'd imagine, both as being detrimental for human health, dreadful for the animals and terrible for the environment, as animal agriculture is responsible for up to 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. 

Amstell also discusses in the film how it isn't really the consumer's fault, another way in which the film doesn't shame people for not being vegan. We're shown Gillian McKeith and programmes such as 'Fat Families' who directly make fun of obese people and that it's 'all their fault', when in fact we're just exploited as consumers and aren't given the proper information about what we're eating.

It's refreshing to see a film where vegans aren't portrayed as stupid and part of a pointless cause. Positivity towards non-vegans/carnists is a running theme throughout the film and that no one will listen if you speak down to them or tell them outright that they're wrong. The way to spread the vegan message is through positivity.

Carnage is definitely worth a watch for both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Carnage is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.


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