Crossposted from V for Vegan.
Okay, so Stephen Colbert’s interview with Kanishk Tharoor (featured in Thursday’s episode of The Colbert Report) has little to do with animal rights – nevertheless, there’s a delightful bit of awesomeness squeezed in at the end, starting at the 4:18 mark:
For those who can’t view the video, Colbert interviews Kanishk Tharoor, son of “Friend of the Show” Shashi Tharoor, who’s currently vying for a seat in India’s General Elections.
Colbert: Now, your dad, Friend of the Show Shashi Tharoor, is running for position as an MP in Kerala, correct? OK, let’s move his numbers right now. I can’t endorse in this country, but I can in India. I hereby endorse Shashi Tharoor. He will put a chicken in every pot. Or – at least – at least – a chicken in every tandoor.
Tharoor: I’m afraid he’s not going to do anything of the sort. He – like me – is a vegetarian. So it’s not very likely that he’s going to do anything like that.
Colbert: Then he’ll put a vegetable korma in…whatever you wish to eat it out of.
What’s so beautiful about this brief exchange is how Tharoor so casually dismantles Colbert’s preconceptions about Indian dietary preferences. Like most Americans, probably, Colbert “naturally” assumes that people the world over do things the American way – or aspire to, anyway – including slaughtering sentient beings by the billions for no reason other than convenience and selfishness. Even though, at +/- 30%, India has “the highest rate of vegetarians for any country worldwide,” Colbert just assumes that Indians want nothing more than plates filled to overflowing with animal corpses. As Tharoor points out, not so much. Colbert normally strikes me as someone who does his research (or has his writers and interns do his research), which makes this particular flub all the more interesting.
Or perhaps I’ve just been conditioned to have really low standards vis-à-vis vegetarian/vegan/AR representation in pop culture media?
Videos in this post
Thursday, April 16, 2009 – Indian Elections – Kanishk Tharoor
Kanishk Tharoor describes India’s beautifully choreographed dance of democracy. (05:06)
Stephen announces Tharoor’s victory, this time with a vegetarian option.