vegansaurus!

07/08/2009

Vegan Top Chef!  »

Vegansaurus loves Top Chef. Strictly speaking, 25 percent of us write about the show for money, and another 25 percent of us have this problem called “an inability to turn off the TV, despite not actually owning one.” So!

When the sixth season of Top Chef begins later this summer, we vegans are getting an extra-special treat, and I mean aside from the return of Gail’s dresses and Padma’s bizarrely apt diction. This season, one of the guest judges is Natalie Portman! A vegan! And presumably the cheftestants will be cooking her vegan food! One can only hope they didn’t also make it a “raw” challenge, to give the whiny-baby omnivores even more to complain about.

Viewers have many, many criticisms of the show, but my foremost complaint is that the meals are, with rare exceptions, entirely meat-focused. When they talk about a “protein,” they mean “a piece of a dead animal, probably cut in a particular manner.” We haven’t heard anyone ever turn down foie gras, and I don’t give a shit if it’s a “chef’s indulgence” or whatever the fuck, the process by which foie gras is obtained is totally inhumane, and no one needs to eat a bird’s liver.

I don’t expect one episode with one vegan actor to make some enormous difference on the cheftestants, and certainly not on this season of the show. But if we watch Natalie Portman’s episode, and give Bravo our feedback en masse, that could encourage repeated vegan-focused episodes. Should they fuck it up, we can tell them how to improve. We can make this an opportunity to promote a cruelty-free diet without even leaving the house, and that is all right.

Please, dudes, I can’t take another season four-style kitchen full of gutted pigs’ bodies, waiting for dismemberment, all bleeping out the curse words and shooting close-ups as they hacked the pigs apart. I mean, what the hell kind of conclusions can you draw from that segment: Say, that when confronted by the fact that their dinners were once living animals, the chefs take responsibility for that and eat them, good? Or, it is beyond fucked-up, them looking those pigs’ bodies and getting all thrilled about cutting them up?

In sum: Natalie Portman, a vegan, is a judge on this season’s Top Chef; and, the show is actually pretty obscene and gross, so we are hoping the vegan food will mitigate that a bit.

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