Aziz Ansari on meat

Last week I watched Aziz Ansari’s Madison Square Garden special on Netflix.

I anticipated his feminist commentary because of the media coverage it attracted (and I read tons of feminist blogs), but the part that excited me the most was something that, afterward, I couldn’t find much coverage on at all.

He lampooned the meat and egg industry.

He starts by asking the audience to clap if they don’t eat meat … and then clap if they don’t eat meat because they read books or watched documentaries that turned them off of meat … and then to clap if they don’t eat meat because they saw factory farm footage that fucked up their ability to eat meat.

Then he continues:

Clap if you saw that (factory farm footage) and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, that’s disgusting, it’s cruel, it’s inhumane, the government definitely needs to properly regulate the meat industry, there’s no excuse for this – the government definitely needs to properly regulate the meat industry … but, in the meantime, I kinda still gotta eat meat, because I don’t wanna feel weird and hungry all the time.’

Isn’t that so frustrating? Because no one wants to support that stuff.

This is where most people I know are at. Like, they inherently know meat comes from a fucked up place, but they exist in willful denial because they don’t think they have the willpower to give up meat or they think humans were built to consume meat and so we should or they have no idea what they would eat in the alternative … whatever.

Aziz didn’t give a vegetarian manifesto, and I wouldn’t expect him to, but I found his commentary – which expressed an omnivore’s guilt while roasting the dirty truths of the meat industry – refreshing. I mean, at least he’s bringing it up to mainstream audiences in a context they likely wouldn’t expect. I know I’m in a minority for religiously reading Vegan Crunk and seeking out pro-vegan documentaries.

In that vein, Aziz went on to lament his reluctance to pursue more vegetables, adding:

Salad needs to step up on its game.


No one’s ever walked into a kitchen like, ‘Are you steaming carrots right now?!’

(True. I’ve never been hot for steamed carrots. But you and I know there are thousands of other more delicious choices.)

Then he transitions to something that’s mentioned less often than meat production: eggs.

He mentions of male layer chickens, “They just get murdered in insane ways,” giving the example of a “chicken woodchipper.”

Admittedly this is some of the stuff that persuaded me to go beyond vegetarianism and plunge into veganism.

Aziz goes on, regarding animal cruelty:

We’d all check ‘no’ on that box. But the problem is, this kinda information, this kinda footage, it just hasn’t been seen in the right context to elicit the kind of mass outrage that would actually result in some changes.

The context that would lead to changes, according to Aziz? CNN raiding Ja Rule’s backyard and finding him suffocating chickens.

“Ja, you monster, what are you doing!” we would exclaim.

Aziz channeling Ja Rule: “I’m sorry, I just wanted some eggs! I had to make ethical compromises in order to achieve economies of scale!”

And somehow Aziz Ansari combined two of my greatest interests: meat industry criticism and Ja Rule.

Again, this is where people are at on this topic and most aren’t going to make the effort others do to make radical changes in their diets or agitate for change. So it’s nice that someone of Aziz’s stature among younger folks can point these things out and, if nothing else, make people think about the realities of our food industry – and hopefully wonder what they can do about them.

Watch the bit here.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Love the Earth Day | Drool On The Rocks
  2. Glen
    Oct 12, 2015 @ 03:31:18

    steam carrots nah..! Roast Carrots … HELLS YEAH!!!


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