Vegetarianism is one of those subjects that seems to polarise people immediately. You’re either wholeheartedly in favour of cramming steaks down your neck like they’re going out of fashion and admonishing veggies as wimps and losers, or else boycotting abattoirs and calling the carnivorous majority murdering hypocrites.
I had a friend who went vegetarian for about a year before coming back to the dark side, and he said that it was quite an aggravating experience. People would always ask him why, as if it wasn’t his own decision to make, or interrogate his motives. It could get pretty personal.
This week a popular YouTube video has emerged online and went pretty viral, appearing to show a devoted vegetarian of 22-years munching down on a delicious steak, and reacting to the tender slab of meat as if it was the very food of the gods. A number of media outlets have shared the AV Club video of the woman having a dietary epiphany, but is the video entirely honest?
Well, not really. In fact there’s significant evidence to suggest that the whole thing was pretty much staged for the sake of satire. One more reason why you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the internet, unless you see it here obviously.
Flick over to page two for the full story. An AV Club video showing a vegetarian enjoying a meat-fuelled meal for the first time in 22-years has gone viral this week, but all it’s not what it appears to be.
The footage shows a woman called Stephanie Potakis being taken out to an eatery in Chicago called Swift & Sons in order to sample various red-meat items from their menu as a so-called experiment. Potakis tries a bit of chicken, steak, and even bone marrow, and appears to enjoy them all, commenting on the crispness of the chicken skin and how she now understands what is meant by the term “juicy.”
By the time she gets to the steak she appears to be in a visible state of bliss, commenting; “This one’s good, but this one’s stupid good. It’s like a butter I didn’t know existed but it tastes like meat.”
The thing is, Potakis also admits that her job is working as a casting director for The Onion, a satirical magazine well known for lampooning news and popular culture and providing parodic features and headlines. According to her LinkedIn, she’s obviously well-versed in acting, so could this whole set-up be staged? Is this a ruse? Is Potakis acting?
Probably. After all it seems a little strange that she would give up twenty-year moral imperative at the drop of a hat for the sake of a viral video. Plus some of her statements seem a little bit over the top; “animals are getting hurt,” she says at one point, “I’m going to suck this out of your bones.”
It seems to me that the point of this video was to mock the attitudes of those who think that vegetarianism isn’t serious, and can be dismissed the instance bacon is on offer. It’s not the first time that subtle satire has been taken at face value. Although that’s not to say that there aren’t genuine videos of vegetarians/vegans eating something illicit. For instance, check out this footage of a vegan freaking out after discovering that he’d mistakenly eaten cheese. You won’t regret it.