Simon Amstell: Carnage

I suckle the teat of the milk bottle, my lips fastened tightly against the plastic. I slurp and gorge, feel the liquid ooze quickly down my chin, and I close my eyes. The milk is inside me, puss and blood and all. I am a monster.

My lips release the teat, and I fall back, awash with shame.

I am a monster.

It’s just a mockumentary, I thought. It’s Simon Amstell, it’ll make you laugh, that’s all. Oh what a fool I was. I long for the bliss and ignorance of before. I long for the taste of that milk, of that meat, of that delicious, bloody murder. But he tricked me. Simon Amstell tricked me. I’ve seen it, now, those things I tried not to see. I’ve seen them, hidden behind a façade of smiles. But this is a blog about good things. Today is not a good day. But today might be the start of a better me.

The first thing this film does right, is be funny. It looks back at our world today, and uses real world footage and facts to highlight the insanity of our food industry. It’s joyously poking fun in the same way many panel shows do, but rather than cast its eye towards politics Simon Amstell instead focusses his glare towards the way we eat food. There are some hilarious hypocrisies I’d never taken the time to notice before, and the film mocks them mercilessly. But then it jets off into a made up future, charting the bizarre events that might lead England to all consuming veganism. It’s a strange concept, one that allows for many a funny. But what I think this concept gets across so brilliantly is how veganism should, essentially, be a choice made through empathy.

There’s an effort to demonise vegans. I don’t know why, but people talk about them like they’re zealots, desperate to convert the world, crazy and pushy and insane. But this film presents a future where people don’t eat meat because they don’t want to hurt other living things. It’s a future run by people with empathy for more than just themselves. Which is powerful, because it makes sense. I think most of us know what we are doing to animals, and I think most of us agree that what we are doing shouldn’t be done. But we don’t think about that when we’re feasting away.

And this film is made by someone with empathy. It’s made by people who realise that other beings matter. It doesn’t try and convince you by making you feel guilty. It appeals to your empathy, by being empathetic. It’s so unbelievably smart, and I hate it.

I’m eyeing the bottle of milk in the fridge. On a normal day, I would have swallowed three glasses by now. But today is not a normal day. Today is anything but. Today is my first day post Carnage, and my first day of trying to be better.

It won’t happen overnight. We won’t all be throwing away our plastic teats at once. But even if I won’t stop entirely, yet, I’ll try to suckle a little less. Or perhaps I’ll find some tree’s milk to swallow. Some plant based nipple to nosh. Some vegetable to tickle with my tongue. Or maybe I’ll taste that milk that’s meant for me. The stuff we should all be drinking, if we’re honest. Yes, I like the sound of that. I just need to find a willing lady, and I’ll be all set. Mmmmmm.

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