Saturday, July 16, 2011

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World & Wanderlust: Vegans

This movie is awesome. Its innovative language makes it unusual and gripping. I simply loved it. I used this fantastic scene to talk about vegetarianism and veganism in the classroom. Don't miss Scott Pilgrim. A new language in movie making. Wanderlust is an attractive comedy for a Sunday afternoon. I recommend both.

Veganism is the practice of eliminating the use by human beings of non-human animal products. Ethical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from the diet only. (Wikipedia)

Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish or poultry, but might eat dairy products such as cheese, eggs, yogurt or milk. Vegetarians are not as predictable in their beliefs, as there are many reasons to become vegetarian that don’t necessarily include altruism as a primary motive. For example, you may become a vegetarian because of health problems. (Wisegeek)


I. Take turns asking each other the questions below:

- Do you know any vegetarians? How different are their eating habits from yours?

- Do you think restaurants should offer one or two vegetarian dishes on their menu?

- Could you try vegetarianism for a month, for a week or for a full day?

- If someone eats cheese and drinks milk, are they vegetarian?

- If someone wears leather shoes or a fur coat, can they call themselves "vegetarian"?

- What is the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian?

- What is the most logical reason for becoming a vegetarian?

- What meal would you miss the most if you became vegetarian?

- What would be more difficult to eat, a strange new vegetable, or an exotic piece of meat?

- Have you ever considered becoming a vegetarian?

- What is a better reason for becoming a vegetarian; health reasons or animal rights?

- Do you think there is prejudice or discrimination against vegans? Explain it.

I. Read the arguments pro vegetarianism in green and decide if they are true and if/why you (dis) agree with them. Then read the arguments against the idea that people should go vegetarian in red. Then decide if they are true and if/why you (dis) agree with them. Material taken from one of my favorite sites for conversation classes,

1.Humans evolved to be primarily vegetarian. Humans do not have the large mouth or long, pointed teeth of carnivores. Human teeth are short and flat for chewing fibrous food.

2.It is cruel and unethical to kill animals for food. Animals are sentient beings that have social structures and emotions.

3.A vegetarian diet reduces the chances of developing kidney and gallstones. Diets high in animal protein cause the body to excrete calcium, oxalate, and uric acid - the main components of kidney and gallstones.

4.A peer-reviewed 2004 study from Harvard researchers found that eating meat increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

5.Vegetarians live longer. A peer-reviewed 2003 study found that adherence to vegetarian diets or diets very low in meat for 20 years or more can increase life expectancy by 3.6 years

6.A vegetarian diet can help alleviate world hunger. Over 10 pounds of plant protein are used to produce one pound of beef protein. [24] If these grains were fed to humans instead of animals, more food would be available for the 925 million people in chronic hunger worldwide

7.A vegetarian diet conserves water. It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, and about 660 gallons to make a pound of chicken. It only takes about 220 gallons to make a pound of tofu and 180 to make a pound of wheat flour.

8.Many food animals in the US are not slaughtered humanely.

9.Consuming fish can be unhealthful. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, "nearly all fish and shellfish" are contaminated by methyl mercury (a potent neurotoxin) from industrial pollution.

1.Eating meat is not cruel or unethical. Every organism on earth dies, at some point, so others can live. There is nothing wrong with this cycle; it is how nature works.

 2.Humans have been eating meat for 2.3 million years and it has been an essential part of our evolution.

3.Meat is the most convenient protein source since it provides all 10 essential proteins (amino acids), as well as essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and the B vitamins, in one serving. Most plant foods do not provide adequate levels of all 10 essential proteins.

4.A meat-centered diet can help with weight loss. It takes fewer calories to get protein from lean meat than it does from vegetarian options.

5.Vegetarian diets are not necessarily better for the environment. About 90% of US cropland, for example, suffers from top soil loss at 13 times the sustainable rate.

6.Becoming vegetarian will not help alleviate world hunger. The 925 million people in chronic hunger worldwide are not hungry because people in wealthy countries eat too much meat. The problem is one of economics and distribution.

7.Eating fish, especially fatty fish like tuna and salmon, provides the body with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which are important for brain function.

8.Modern slaughter techniques minimize the suffering of animals. US slaughterhouses must conform to the Humane Slaughter Act (HMSA) which mandates that livestock be stunned unconscious before slaughter.

9.There is nothing inherently cruel about raising animals for food.

10.The right to eat what we want, including meat, is a fundamental liberty that we must defend. Animal-rights and health groups are attempting to control personal behavior Material taken from one of my favorite sites for conversation classes,

II. What is your conclusion, after having read all these arguments? 

III. Watch the segment from the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and discuss the questions. 

1. Describe the scene.

2. According to the segment, how do vegans see themselves?

3. Are vegans actually better people because of their altruistic values? Explain it.

4. Do vegans actually keep an eye on each other's eating habits? Is it a good way to control each other?

5. Should vegans be so strict to their habits and not allow any moments of animal consumption?

6. Human beings have been carnivorous since prehistoric periods. Isn't being a vegan against the human nature?

IV. Watch the scene from the movie Wanderlust and discuss the questions:

1. Describe the scene.

2. Why does she feel guilty when busted by her vegan friend?

3. Do you think that people who are on a diet control other people's eating habits? What's your opinion about it?

4. What should the main characters do? Quit vegetarianism or have occasional moments of guilty pleasure by eating whatever they please?



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