Why POP! (Culture)?
POP! goes The Vegan is a pop culture blog written for vegans, by vegans. We aim to critically examine the Four Horse(wo)men of the A-Pop-calypse – film, television, music and literature – from a uniquely vegan perspective. Oh, and theatre, too. Make that five horsewomen.
While popular culture might at first blush seem a trivial area of inquiry – e.g., why “waste” time writing movie reviews when billions of animals are suffering in animal agriculture operations as we speak!? – the mass media’s ability to influence social norms and transmit cultural memes is powerful. Movies, television shows, popular fiction and the like can be used to reinforce the status quo – or to challenge it. Electronic and print media come in all flavors: from conservative to liberal, subversive to oppressive, and everything in between. There exist as many messages as there are audiences.
As consumers of pop culture, our interests are best served by partaking mindfully, rather than indiscriminately and without thought. Better to critically analyze those elements of pop culture to which one is exposed, challenging and discarding the most toxic elements and retaining and championing those which are beneficial, progressive – revolutionary. Deciphering the messages hidden within mass media can prove both fun and empowering.
Indeed, popular culture studies as an academic discipline has come into its own in the past half century. Academics study the likes of Lost, The Handmaid’s Tale, Twilight, Battlestar Galactica, alien invasion movies, and The Beatles catalog, looking for meaning in the (sub)texts of these works, e.g.: Not fully animal, nor vegetable, nor mineral, where do cyborgs rest in the web of life – and how do they challenge existing ideas of what it means to be “human”? Are vegetarian vampires an indictment of our own “food” choices? And just where (or what!) is that gorram island!?
Although POP! is more on the informal/layperson side, we hope to offer a stimulating-yet-accessible array of pop culture analyses from a vegan perspective. The representations of nonhuman animals and those humans who advocate on their behalf will take center stage at POP!, however, other forms of oppression and exploitation are of interest as well. Occasional digressions on human-based “isms” are to be expected and welcomed. These include: speciesism, sexism, misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, lookism, sizeism, ageism, ableism, xenophobia, nationalism, colonialism, ecology and environmental issues.
If you’re interested in contributing to this project, please click on over to the Submissions page for further details.
POP! Content & Navigation: The Blog
While “pop culture” is a broad term which encompasses everything from toys to daytime talk shows to fashion, POP! goes The Vegan focuses on the performing arts, specifically: film, television, music, literature and theatre, with a heavy emphasis on the first two categories.
Film includes motion pictures of all lengths and genres: full-length films, shorts, made-for-tv movies, straight-to-video productions, documentaries, dramas, science fiction, action-adventure, biopics – all are fair game. As far as films go, the only class we won’t cover is pornography.
Television includes all television series, miniseries, specials and made-for-tv movies; aired on either cable or broadcast television; and containing elements of most any genre, such as documentary, drama, comedy, satire and infotainment. The only exceptions are regular nonfiction broadcasts, i.e., news shows or broadcasts such as Rick’s List on CNN or ABC’s Nightline. Current news is an area regularly discussed on many/most animal advocacy and vegan blogs, so there’s really no need to include it here. However, macro posts examining a host or program’s “animal-friendliness” over the span of a season or career may be appropriate.
Music includes, well, music, be it a specific song, a full-length album, or an artist’s entire catalog. All genres welcome.
Literature includes any and all works of fiction: novels, novellas, short stories, poetry, graphic novels, comics and the like, belonging to most any genre. Again, the only exceptions are pornography and nonfiction, the latter being the purview of more generally focused animal rights blogs and websites.
Theatre includes live, narrative performances (i.e., plays), such as musicals, comedies and dramas.
Pop culture critiques are all filed in one or more of the above categories, depending on the medium under discussion.
For more nuanced browsing, each post is tagged with multiple keywords; you can view a list of all the tags here.
And of course, there’s also the handy-dandy search box, located at the top of the sidebar.
In addition to the above, posts may also fall into one of the following categories:
Coming Soon contains notices of upcoming movies, television episodes and specials, live events and the like. Think of this category as a bulletin board for the vegan studies set.
Link Love is where you’ll find link roundups.
Site Admin includes blog updates and other administrative zzzz‘s.
POP! Content & Navigation: Vegan (Re)views Database
In addition to the main blog, POP! goes The Vegan. is also home to Vegan (Re)views, a (soon-to-be) searchable database of media that addresses some aspect of animal advocacy issues. As with the blog, the scope of the database includes movies; television series, mini-series and specials; music; literature; and theatre. When possible, Vegan (Re)views also includes links to “animal-friendly” reviews of the featured media.
For additional information, check out the main/introductory page of the database.
POP! goes The Vegan is a work in progress. If you’d like to contribute to what (hopefully) will shape up to be a team effort, please see the Submissions and Vegan (Re)views pages for details. To learn more about the bloggers, please visit the Contributors page for brief bios and contact info. To get in touch with founder/webmistress Kelly G., email easyvegan -at- gmail -dot- com.
lol kaylee, just needs a hammer.
Last updated 3/1/10