This is the premise of Simon Amstell's film 'Carnage: Swallowing the Past' - a one hour comedy/documentary just released on BBC iPlayer.
The film is the comedian's first feature-length film and it's not only hilarious, but also puts a highly convincing case forward for veganism without coming across as 'preachy' or judgemental. Amstell managed to get the balance just right.
The documentary takes us through the key events from 1944 until 2067 showing how the UK finally gave up eating animals.
It's uniquely humorous and insightful and definitely worth watching, whether or not you're vegan.
Journalist Max Benwell reviewed the film:
I'm not a vegan, but after watching Carnage, I'm even more certain that I should be. It's completely unsustainable and cruel to eat meat and dairy, and more people need to realise this. But so far, many feel alienated by the vegan movement. Carnage works because it's very funny, entertaining but also shows how society can be made to change its mind. It's not about shaming anyone, or bombarding them with stats. Instead, the film asks a simple question: how will we look back on our treatment of animals in 50 years?
Making veganism funny is no mean feat. In fact, it may be unprecedented. But Carnage isn't just funny. It’s often said, when looking back on mistakes, that hindsight is 20/20. And this is Carnage’s gift to us: a hilarious but meaningful hindsight from the future. It may not turn out to be 20/20 but, if current trends are anything to go by, it's close enough .
Meat consumption is already on the decline in the UK, and a consensus is beginning to form: if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change, we’ve got to stop harvesting animals for food. For it won’t be long until carnism and survival become mutually exclusive.
For meat-lovers who also care about the future of the planet, Carnage offers a way out, and urges us to take it without shaming anyone. What it shows us is that veganism may seem unattractive, but it’s nothing compared to what happens if we ignore it. And if a comedy can help us realise this now, then why wait until 2067?
The film is available on BBC iPlayer, which means freely viewable within the UK, but we've reached out to Simon Amstell to ask when it will be made available to a wider (worldwide!) audience and we'll update this article when we receive a reply.
UK readers can watch the full film here on iPlayer.
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