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Tom Hardy Isn’t Feeling So Hardy About Veganism

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While it’s flattering that Tom Hardy equates modern day film heroes to vegans with “eight-pack[s], tanned [bodies], [and] straight-teeth” (oh, Tom, how I’d love an eight-pack), the equivalence is rather misguided. There is nothing heroic about veganism. There is nothing heroic about recognising another’s most basic moral rights. Veganism – like all other moral positions grounded in recognition of another’s value – does not require heroism or the type of inner strength one may attribute to their favourite movie protagonist who leaps in during the final scene to save the day. Veganism is the minimum standard of justice, required not only by the hero, but of everyone else who takes morality seriously too.

We can thank the “vegan” celebrities on planet stardom and the “animal advocates” who prostrate themselves in submission to the faux-wisdom of their superficial “cleanses” for promoting the notion that veganism is about tight abs, a firm butt and a skin-tight spandex suit for a multi-millionaire to frolic around in.

While Hardy is correct in this Telegraph article maintaining that modern day “heroes” have become “homogenised” and “physicalised” (which gives young people unrealistic ideals with respect to body image) he errs in equating veganism to being a diet where the vegan “heroes” are supposedly “moralistic” and all about “clean-living.” The words vegan and moralistic do not belong in a sentence together other than to say that veganism has nothing to do with making judgements of individuals or having a narrow-minded approach to morality. Instead, veganism is about what we owe to the vulnerable beings unjustly relegated to the class of things when we are not vegan, and the only thing that we should be judging as vegans are the actions of others and not the individuals themselves. There is nothing moralistic about that.

Indeed, if we were talking about violations of human rights where the so-called “hero” held as a baseline position the idea that we should respect the right all women possess to bodily integrity, I doubt Hardy would consider that to be “moralistic” and representative of some “clean-living” idealism. But where veganism is concerned, the true meaning has been diluted by “animal advocates” to the point that it’s now a just a buzz-word for celebrities to fire off in a rant about unrealistic body images.

In some respects, it’s rather ironic how Hardy is portraying veganism as being responsible for Thor’s resplendent and bulging torso while the mainstream media and the corporate bodies that control it are hell bent on pumping out anti-vegan propaganda – stuff that would have you believing that after a week of being vegan you’d be a malnourished husk. Isn’t it nice when the mass media gets so drenched in its own excrement that it’s swallowed again by its own arsehole. Delight in the irony, folks.

Hardy signs off saying that these “moralistic” movie heroes are “not committed to any sense of the gubbins of reality” and that he “[doesn’t] recognise” any of these characters. In other words, there is no sense of humanity in them with the expected corresponding flaws, imperfections and human desires.

What Hardy hasn’t grasped is that veganism represents a recognition of fundamental rights, and cannot be relegated to a “moralistic” quest for purity. It has nothing to do with perfection or denying our sense of humanity. It’s about recognising that our own conventional wisdom – maintaining that it’s wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death on animals – has veganism as the only rational conclusion. It’s about recognising that, regardless of the individual preferences or characteristics that make us all different, there are certain moral baselines that transcend individual idiosyncrasies and that require our adherence if we wish to live moral lives. Respect for the fundamental right that all sentient beings possess not to be used as property is one of them.

Whether you’re a hero in a movie or the janitor who sweeps up on a movie set, veganism is a non-negotiable moral baseline if you believe animals have moral value.

Photo from Hollywood Reporter

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