On this past Friday nite, my husband and I had this sort of nite out in Old Montreal. We went together to see a screening of Veducated at a serene looking yoga studio called Luna Yoga. I learned of this event through The Montreal Vegan Rejects, a Meet Up Group to which I now belong.
I was expecting to be one of the older couples there and we were. There was another couple of a certain age sitting near the window of this large, airy looking yoga studio. but that is okay!
Speaking of age, the room was filled with pillows and mats to sit on and sitting on the floor is not one of my skills. I was happy and relieved to see that there were several chairs lined up along the back of the studio There was one cozy pillow covered wicker chair with my name on it. I snapped it up and settled in.
There were snacks (Vegan, of course) lined up on a table in the far corner. A be-touqued young man was serving smoothies for us to try. The smoothies were housed in mason jars nestled in an ice filled glass bowl . Brennen of Smooth Meals offered four different varieties of his hand made elixirs. I chose one with kale in it and I must say that it was absolutely delicious.
Le Kitchen, a dine in or take out ready to eat vegan food establishment offered tiny boxes of spiced popcorn and sweet vegan bites. I had the first, my husband, the second. We both found our individual choice to be tasty.
And now, about Veducated. I have only recently (in the last few months) started to watch some movies about veganism, nonhuman animal
rights, modern, industrialized farming practices and so on. Some of them are tough to watch with their visuals of the gross mistreatment of nonhuman beings.
But, I feel very strongly that I need to continue to become more informed about the exact nature of these practices. There was some of this footage in Veducated (chickens, pigs, cows) but it was germane to the documentary and so , not gratuitous. I cried a bit, held my hand over my face during some parts, but managed to get through it.
The subjects of this documentary are three individuals and their six week journey of eating plant based foods and exploring the meaning of veganism. It was a lighthearted, yet respectful take on a very serious subject. The emotions, thoughts and struggles of Brian, Tesla and Ellen are captured beautifully as they experience veganism and the philosophy behind it.
I wish that there had been more emphasis on eating a 100% whole food plant based diet. There was a lot of time spent on what Dr. Jameth Sheridan labels vegan junk food- soy protein isolate based hot dogs, deli meats, non dairy cheese.
I was most moved when Ellen thanked Marisa (writer, director, editor) for the gift of veganism!-the Gift of Veganism. That is so profound.
All in all, I think Veducated is well worth seeing!
There was a Q&A following the documentary and even though I wanted to, I did not speak up. Why? Because I am still afraid of saying the wrong thing, of hurting someone’s feelings, of not getting my point across in a meaningful way. I hope to feel more confident about this as time goes on.
But, with respect offered to those all who did join in the dialogue, these are my thoughts. People asked questions mostly about health -about the fear of poor nutrition when following a plant based diet. Where do we get this nutrient, what about that nutrient? I found it to be a bit counter intuitive. I believe, after some first hand experience and research, that a whole food plant based diet is the way to go for optimal health.
I don’t see why nature would not provide us in the foods we eat (minimally processed plants), all the nutrients we need to thrive.
I found, as I often do, that the understanding of what it means to be vegan is misunderstood. People talked about being vegan some of the time, about being flexitarian and willing to eat nonhuman animals as food if the situation required it. No one talked about veganism as being an ethical decision and way of life. No one mentioned the graphic evidence of cruelty that was showcased in the movie.
Believe you me, this is not a criticism of the people who did show up. That is praise worthy. They are eating fewer nonhuman animals as food and that is praise worthy. They are advocating for their own health and that is praiseworthy.
Annie’s Vegan View
Questioning what we think and actually know about cruelty to nonhuman animals is a good thing.
Being advocates for our own health is a good thing.
Understanding the true meaning of veganism is a good thing.
Leading in life with our kindness and compassion for all beings is a good thing.
“Being and Living Vegan” instead of “Going Vegan” is a good thing for all the nonhuman animals who suffer at our hands.
Therein lies our own salvation.
May all beings be happy and free.