Myq Kaplan is a vegan comedian. Shane Mauss is a non-vegan comedian.
They are friends.
Here is a conversation they had, about being vegan. Or not. <Cue scary music, and then forget to play it.>
MK: Comedian Shane Mauss, why are you not a vegan?
SM: First, why do you assume that I’m not a vegan?
MK: I was going based on previous knowledge of you, from our friendship. But if you’d rather, start with “why ARE you a vegan?” Or, “why is your diet the way it is, with respect to how vegan you are or are not?”
SM: Damn it. Got me again. Vegans always know when you are lying. I assume it’s because of whatever vitamins are in soy. That’s probably the main reason why I’m not vegan. I don’t want that power. I like thinking that my girlfriend is really having orgasms. I also like thinking that the audience scurrying past me after shows really did think I did a “good job” and they are only avoiding eye contact because they are intimidated by how hilarious I just was.
MK: I can assure you, your girlfriend is really having orgasms. It’s just she’s having them with the audience that’s scurrying past you. And that’s why they’re avoiding eye contact.
SM: You see what I mean? Why would I want to know that. It’s bad enough to be on stage and know that an audience isn’t paying attention to me. It doesn’t help knowing that they aren’t paying attention because of all the sex they’re having with my girlfriend. Also, I have a very long list of things that I’m already self-righteous about. I’m hilarious, successful, and handsome. I have good genes (and jeans) and a beautiful girlfriend. I can’t go adding environmentally conscious to that list. I already spend too much time “admiring” myself in the mirror. Did I say too much time? I meant the exact right amount. I think being a vegan is mentally demanding. It’s complex and confusing keeping track of everything. For example, if tofu isn’t meat then why does it taste like ass?
MK: Oh, you’re supposed to cook it, not sit on it naked. Also, I think you have it backwards. It’s ass that tastes like chicken… I hear. At least if it’s a chicken’s ass. Also, becoming vegan would be perfect for you, because wouldn’t you want the longest list possible of things to be self-righteous about? This could put you over the top.
SM: Having things that one COULD BE self-righteous about is great but being self-righteous is not! See how smart I am?!
MK: I think I do. And funny. And handsome. But seriously (or not), any more serious thoughts on the subject?
SM: Okay. Before I give any serious reasons why I’m not a vegetarian I should admit that I like the taste of meat. It’s convenient. I’ve eaten it my whole life. And I was raised that way so any attempt to justify meat eating in an intelligent way first went through a filter that is partial to meat. I believe in local, sustainable, and organic food and farming that is backed by science. I prefer to shop at Whole Foods when I can. I prefer to err toward the side of organic and free range even if I’m paying more for a pesticide-free banana which doesn’t really matter once it’s peeled. I think it tastes better and is healthier even if it’s just a placebo effect. I don’t always eat this way because it’s hard to do while traveling and often expensive. But I believe in a lot of it even if I might be more likely to get E coli and most alternative medicines are a sham (although they can often boast ‘no side-effects’ because they don’t do anything). Anyway, I guess I’m a bit of a humanist and how much I care about farming, animals, the environment, is only in relation to how it affects humans. I don’t care about the earth or its feelings or Mother Nature or whatever because earth is a rock and will be fine no matter what. However, if humans want to sustain and progress, we have to take care of our home which means consequently I do have to care about the earth and its fragile ecosystem that we live off. And what that has to do with my view of veganism is that I don’t really care about animals much further than how they can benefit us. So I believe in free-range but only because I believe there is less disease spread and there seems to be a significant amount of evidence saying that pumping animals full of antibiotics will have very bad consequences on humanity.
MK: Why do you care so much about humans? You don’t even know most of them, and probably wouldn’t like all of them. I bet you’ve been done wrong by way more humans than animals. So why not turn that humanist-ness upside-down, and start being a cannibal. I mean, vegan.
SM: Well I am a human so it’s self-serving. Also, humans have far greater potential make significant change. It could work out well for the environment too if we were better care takers. I’m delusional enough to think that enough education, science, and technology can solve most any problem. As far as being wronged by animals, I have my girlfriend’s crappy dog that I have to take care. I feel wronged by him daily. But he does look delicious. I’m fine with eating veal as long as I know the thing isn’t diseased and being pumped full of a bunch of chemicals that are going to harm me. It’s not that I support animal cruelty or anything. I like animals fine enough. It’s just very low on my list of world problems. In the end I don’t think that whether or not something is made from animals would ever be a deciding factor for me. But on the other hand, if you make a synthetic filet mignon that is no worse for me and tastes as good, I will pay more for it so that a cow does have to be killed. In fact, I’ll settle for some kind of a Star Trek pill that I can take a few times a day that provides me with the perfect amount of nutrition. Then I don’t have to worry about any of this or waste my time grocery shopping.
MK: At least we agree that synthetic, harmless, waste-less, Star Trek-style foodstuff-pills would be ideal. Let’s make it happen, the future!
SM: I’ll vote for anyone that runs on a pro foodstuff-pill platform.
MK: Glad to have you on board. We did it!