A couple of months ago I was home sick with a terrible stomach virus and had no where to go but the couch. So I turned on Netflix and happened upon The Wonder Years. I watched most of the first season and was pleasantly surprised when John Corbett made a guest appearance. You may know John Corbett as Aidan from Sex and the City, but my favorite character that he’s ever played was in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. He was the vegetarian in this film, and the most hilarious line from the movie is when the aunt asks “What do you mean you don’t eat no meat? That’s OK, I cook the lamb.” It reminded me so much of my Italian family trying to grasp the concept of my husband and me being vegetarians, which resulted in them saying they would cook fish for us. In John Corbett’s early days of acting on The Wonder Years, his character is also a vegetarian, and the parents are just as baffled as the aunt in My Big Fat Greek Wedding – whaaaat? no meat?! It was so wonderful to see a vegetarian message in a show that aired in the 80s. Corbett not only has played vegetarian characters in shows and movies, but he also lent his voice for a Farm Sanctuary video, which you can view below.
I’ve also been watching Call the Midwife on Netflix that had a pro-veg message in one of the episodes. It’s a delightful British drama that follows the lives of young midwives in East London in the 1950’s. In this particular episode, the house manager, Fred, brings a pig to live at the midwifery. He originally buys this pig as a business endeavor because bacon was in high demand at the time. The pig turns out to be pregnant, and Fred, who was going to slaughter this animal and sell it for food, winds up naming her and loving her. The midwives help deliver the piglets, and throughout the whole scene Fred is acting like the father by getting water, towels, etc. for the pig that’s in labor. After the piglets are born, Fred claims that he’s never eating bacon again. I thought it was interesting that this message was interwoven into the story line. It showed that Fred, a typical guy’s guy, found that pigs are loving and have tons of personality. As animal rights advocates say, the animal is someone not something.
To honor Fred’s character on the show, and others in the real world who are just like him, here’s an old recipe of mine that calls for fakin’ bacon. Now that’s what I call a tasty entrée with a big side of compassion!
PS – I’m not a huge fan of fake meat, but I did like the particular brand that’s in this recipe. Also, please forgive the awful pictures – my food photography has greatly improved, or at least I feel like it has!
What shows have you watched that had pro-veg messages? Please share in the comments below.