Plant-based diets are definitely popular among Hollywood A-Listers, but the same cannot be said for the characters they play on TV and in movies. When a vegan or vegetarian character appears shows up on screen, which is rare, that person is usually made up of a mishmash of unappealing stereotypes. For example, a petulant teenager who storms away from the dinner table screaming, “Meat is murder!”
These stereotypes suggest that plant-based eating is a fad that rational people eventually grow out of—but not before they preach obnoxiously to everyone around them.
Luckily for plant-based eaters, a new Netflix show called Easy leaves the tired, plant-based jokes behind in favor of a nuanced, believable vegan character. Better yet, the character—a committed activist named Jo—demonstrates how to have genuine conversations about plant-based eating with the people close to you.
A Relatable Depiction of a Plant-Based Lifestyle
The episode Jo appears in, called “Vegan Cinderella,” has been praised for its full, believable depiction of modern love. The same can be said for its depiction of Jo’s plant-based lifestyle.
It’s clear that Jo is passionate about plant-based living, but she embodies none of the stereotypical traits of a TV vegan. First, she does not forcefully attempt to convert those around her. Second, she does not give off the air that her beliefs and lifestyle choices make her better than non-vegans.
When she discusses veganism with her love interest, Chase, she does so casually by sharing videos—with no condescending commentary! Chase then embraces veganism in an attempt to impress Jo. Although her first attempt doesn’t last long, it’s clear that Jo’s approach of educating rather than proselytizing effectively shifted Chase’s outlook.
Tips for Talking to Your Friends and Family
If you’d like to introduce the principles of plant-based living to others, we suggest taking a page from Jo’s playbook. She shared undercover videos with Chase, which spurred her—and, no doubt, some viewers—to try veganism. Mercy for Animals, a nonprofit fighting to protect farmed animals, often release compelling footage form their undercover investigations on their website and Facebook page.
Another excellent way to open a conversation about plant-based living with your family and friends is to watch a documentary together. There are a number of excellent options, including…
- Earthlings: An inside look at the meat industry, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, that explores the relationship between humans and animals.
- Forks Over Knives: This film focuses in the health benefits of plant-based eating, including reduced risks of heart disease and cancer.
- Planeat: A chronicle of the ground-breaking work of three superstars in the world of plant-based eating— T Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and Professor Gidon Eshel—who are all determined to find a diet that’s good for human health, the environment, and the future of the planet.
If you’re up for it, you could organize an outing to a farmed animal sanctuary. Many people are inspired to try plant-based eating after connection with individual farmed animals and hearing their incredible rescue stories.
Last but not least, share a delicious plant-based meal with your loved ones! Many people can’t imagine enjoying a dish that doesn’t include any meat, dairy, or eggs…until they try one!