I Could Never Go Vegan review – cheerfully persuasive film about the plant-based lifestyle

Estimated read time 2 min read

Here is an ebullient, confident campaign documentary from Thomas Pickering, the kind of punchy and straightforward film-making that we used to see all the time in the 00s that was effectively made popular by Michael Moore. Clear ideas, sympathetic (if choir-preaching) interviews, approachable narration and presentation, strong graphics – and all of it leading to a website on the final credits where you can go to get involved and find out more.

Pickering is a vegan who was brought up by vegans and sets out to answer the anti-vegan remarks he hears from his friends all the time; they could never go vegan because meat is too delicious, or because climate change isn’t real, or because plant-based diets don’t deliver the protein, or because these days free range or organic meat industries make animals’ lives better. Pickering dispenses with each and every one, with the help of compelling testimony from Guardian columnist George Monbiot among others. The one about meat being delicious is difficult to combat, and Pickering’s garish closeups of a sinful fry-up, intended to dismay and disgust, had me thinking … mmmmm, yum. (Perhaps Pickering should have interviewed vegan and comedian Romesh Ranganathan who is funny and insightful on this subject.)

Vegan recipes are certainly getting better all the time, and Pickering also dispenses with the notion that “free range” farming is a Shangri-La of happiness for animals. It is a little bit better than non-free-range, maybe, but the animals are still kept in grim conditions and the distinction has basically been invented to create a spurious “luxury” consumer tier. Pickering’s style isn’t perfect. I could have done without his goofy and staged-looking phone calls to his mum, and I also think he could have given us a basic run-down of what exactly he eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, along with the inter-meal snacks. The film is tasty, though.

Source: theguardian.com

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