11 July 2011

If I were going to pick a vegan mascot it would be...

If I were to pick a vegan mascot, I would choose the goat that yells like a man. The yelling goat is from a video on YouTube, uploaded about two years back, which amassed over three million views by the time of this article.

As internet memes are meant to do, the yelling goat has been sampled and remixed for laughs, mischief, and countless other purposes. We're a little late to the party, but I want vegans and animal rights activists to get in on the action.

Now, you're probably wondering, "Michael, why on this green earth do you want vegan agriculture-jammers to splice and sample a 25-second video clip of a goat yelling?"

Because he yells like a man. That's not to anthropomorphize the goat (to claim that the goat is a human) but to highlight what we and other sentient beings have in common. Our senses. Our mutual ability to hear cries and feel pain.

It amazes me how so many people can be obsessed with all sorts of animal videos. Animals displaying traits that, even if not providing direct analogs to a given human experience or emotion, betray a peek at the internal lives of these sentient creatures. It amazes me that people can look at these videos, and then pretend that the animals they eat are nothing more than inefficient machines for converting grain to flesh. That the internal worlds of their minds are worth less than a fillet mignon.

Maybe we could remind them that, when you cut them, goats scream like men.

Michael Schnier
Michael went vegan in May of 2010 while shopping for his weekly groceries. Michael is a communications studies undergrad at Carleton University and spends too much of his time arguing on the internet. When not butting heads, Michael can be found reading Vertigo comics, listening to the Smiths, and writing bad poetry. Follow Michael on his Tumblr blog.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/malingering