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30 Days Vegan: Morgan Spurlock Rocks

Most well-known for his blockbuster, full-length documentary, Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock took that formula of a month-long personal challenge and created a television series that’s now in its third season. I really resonate with the concept seeing as it was a two-week experiment that took me from lacto-ovo vegetarianism to a vegan diet. And a similar challenge got me hooked on green smoothies.

Here’s how the FX website’s 30 Days section describes the vegan episode, airing Tuesday night, June 17th:

PARTICIPANT – George Snedeker, 42
RESIDES – Chapel Hill, NC
OCCUPATION – Handyman
AIRDATE – Tuesday, June 17, 2008

George Snedeker is an avid hunter who considers it much more than just a sport; to George, hunting is a way of life. George hunts mainly for deer meat and tries to use the entire animal in order not to be wasteful.

For 30 Days, George will live in Los Angeles with vegan Melissa Karpel, 29, and her vegan family: parents Don and Madeline Karpel and her sisters Stephanie and Kimberly, who are 25-year-old twins. Melissa is a Los Angeles Campaign Coordinator for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a non-profit organization that fights for animal rights on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade and in the entertainment industry.

George will participate in PETA initiatives including a demonstration at a popular fast food chain, work at a local farm animal rescue center and meet with various organizations such as Last Chance for Animals, a non-profit group dedicated to animal rights.

Should be interesting! I hope this reaches you in time to watch and share your thoughts here afterward.

Are you up for a challenge of your own? The “Declare Your Independence From Unhealthy Foods” group cleanse starts on the 4th of July at Green Smoothie Central!

11 Responses to “30 Days Vegan: Morgan Spurlock Rocks”

  1. Lorraine says:

    I think this episode was bull sh**. I have been on farms my whole life and never seen what you have shown. Alot was overly exagerated. I understand the medical use, I know about the recalls and how tests done on animals is not as informative. I think to show should have gone the opposite directin and the vegans should go experience what George does.

  2. Ruby says:

    Well if you’ve never seen it then it must not happen! Seriously if you truly believe such things don’t happen then perhaps you should watch the movie “Earthlings” — then again, I doubt you ever would. I think people who feel as you do simply don’t want to know the truth because you could no longer justify your behavior.

  3. Mocha says:

    I felt the episode was a bit one sided overall. I didn’t get a good sense of why George thinks hunting is good and great outside of “I like it”. Maybe that’s the only argument? If so, I don’t get it. But I’m wondering if he’s got other points and they just weren’t shown. (?)

    I’m hoping the activists learned something about getting to people by watching George. He didn’t break until he saw the dog at the pound and the factory farm. He didn’t go vegan in one day, and maybe that shouldn’t be the goal, but I bet he’s gone organic now. Not only for the better treatment of the animals but you need to get folks where they live. Like the guy said “You are what your food eats.” Tell them you’re eating those sick animals and THAT will get the ball rolling. That’s what they should have said after showing him the video of the chicken farm. Not calling him a “Hitler”. That just turned him off. Turned me off too, and I’m already in the choir.

  4. Jane says:

    At one time I liked Morgan Spurlock, but more and more I find that the arguments that he presents are incredibly one-sided. As a person that works in the field of pharmaceutical research and a former student of animal science with a focus on dairy research, I was so disappointed. Animal research is great as an early phase of drug testing. The human models mentioned during the episode are great in later trials, but costly. People should know that the species selected for various types of drugs and modes of delivery are chosen to act as preliminary models not final phase models and that on a more personal note are cared for by their technicians. The chief responsiblity of an animal tech is animal welfare and this is not taken lightly. Often someone that knows little about proper handling of animals may find methods to be cruel, but people should educate themselves. I mean do you really think that a 600 or 700lbs animal even blinks when it is slapped on the rump. Animal testing is currently vital in the field of pharmaceutical research, but it will not always be the way. Companies do their best to use fewer and fewer animals and in the future, because of the strides that they are making scientifically NOT the constant harassment of animal protesters, animal testing in its current state will probably no longer be necessary.
    As far as “factory farms” or CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), I have mixed feelings. Once again people need to educate themselves on proper farming practices. Yeah you have “bad eggs” that do things that are unethical, but there are also farming operations that are innovative, environmental stewards that run reputable operations. REALLY PEOPLE START THINKING FOR YOURSELVES DON’T LET SOME FANCY FILMMAKER WITH EDITING ABILITIES THINK FOR YOU!

  5. Sarah says:

    I don’t have cable, but I hope they put this out on DVD at some point because it sounds interesting :) Thanks for posting about it!

  6. Erin says:

    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts. You’re welcome, Sarah. :)

    Oh, it’ll definitely come out on DVD. Season 1 already is and the second season is now available for pre-order.

  7. I did not see the episode, but I always am wary about how vegans are portrayed in the media.

  8. JoAnn says:

    I must respond to Jane’s comments above.

    I worked for Merck (the pharmaceutical company) as a sale’s rep some year’s back. My clients were lab animal testing facilities in the midwest. Now I can’t speak for what happens on the coasts — but I was, inside of close to 100% of the animal testing labs that existed in kansas, nebraska, Iowa and Missouri at that time. Over and over, decorating the walls in many of these places was a very compelling poster (produced and distributed by some organization representing biomedical researchers) that showed a beautiful little girl, sick and tucked into a hospital bed, and surrounded by stuffed animals. The caption on this poster said, “The animals that really helped this little girl aren’t in this picture.” But here’s what I found most disturbing. probably 80-90 percent of the labs in these four states, their research had NOTHING to do with saving human lives. Most of these labs were animal health companies and most of their research was about trying to find the next big opportunistic pathogen of pigs, chickens or cows, and then be the first to market with a vaccine or drug to fight that infection. Then they would develop some slick advertising and PR to scare the farmers to death that if they didn’t use their new product, (each batch tested once again in animals for safety and efficacy) they would suffer catastophic economic harm, when too many of their animals succumbed. Of course it was obvious to me even at that time — that when you cram too many animals into too small of an area, deprive them of fresh air and sunlight, and feed them unnatural diets — they will be unusually susceptible to oportunistic infections.

    It all seemed very dishonest to me that all these animal health companies were riding the bandwagon of “Animal research saves lives” and their research had nothing to do with advancing human well-being.

  9. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the comment, I agree that the episode is definitely bringing both sides of the issue to play.And to get involved in what some people on here were saying.

    The show is not meant to be two-sided. He comes in from one extreme to another, but it does not go both ways. The hunter was there to learn about animal rights, the show was not about the justification of hunting. Plus, they might have talked about it more in the house, but one hour is not enough to show both sides.
    I also dont think people realize that just like any other subject of activism there is different methods of getting the message out. Most people in our cause do not agree with how Lorri handled the questions he had on-air. Beating around the questions with the same answer was not helpful at all. For people that are unsure or do not really think any of it is true. I feel the best way is to do what the neurologist did. Tell him the straight facts and how it effects “you” personally. After people see the effects against themselves, they are more likely to then want to see what the abuse is to the animals. But graphic protests, to me, are insulting.

    Also, I had my mom watch this program. She grew up on a farm. But not all farming is equal in America. Now I dont know what type of farm you are talking about, Lorraine. But, the vast majority of people who have been around the type of industry that was portrayed and that dominants or food supplies, are not like local, small farms. Most dont even see them as farms, but call it Industrialized Farming. The animals are a product, not a being. Living near a factory farm, is causing great physical damage to the people and their environment. It’s just like living near a power plant, but in this case there is barely any laws or regulations limiting the ‘farmers’ actions. Manure run-off is the major source of water contamination is ALL rivers in america. If you were around this type of farm, most likely you would have something to say. Groups of citizens across the nation are forming together to boycott and stop these forms of agriculture from coming near their towns.

  10. [...] The documentary, once called Raw For 30 Days, is now available, under a new title, Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes In 30 Days. It looks like a powerful film following on the coattails of the challenge-style documentary made famous by Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me. [...]

  11. I agree about it being a bit one-sided , this is bound to happen because the documentary will be on the narrator/subject\’s point of view , meaning we will be seeing it on his side.

    That’s why in documentaries like CNN you see the documentarian play a more hands off role , merely stating the facts and looking into all sides of the chosen topic.

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