“Carnage: Swallowing the Past” Shows Why the World Will Be Vegan in 2067

Instead of the usual wanderings across the globe in search of delicious vegan food, today we’re talking about a different type of travel. Time travel!

Strap on your hover board, because we’re going to be traveling through time into the future. And if you dream of creating a vegan world like I do, then you will be thrilled to know that the future is vegan!

At least, that’s the future portrayed in Carnage: Swallowing the Past - the new, feature-length film just released by British comedian (and vegan) Simon Amstell.

The film is set in the year 2067, in a future where human society has evolved to a point where compassion and non-violence is the norm, and eating, wearing or otherwise exploiting animals is no longer socially acceptable. In fact, it’s abhorrent.

Members of the younger generation are horrified to think that their grandparents could have eaten a baby lamb.

Their elders, meanwhile, struggle to come to terms with their carnivorous past. They attend support group meetings to work through the shame and guilt they feel about having once eaten animals and their bodily secretions.

And yet, despite all the sorrow and disgust expressed by the protagonists, the film is most definitely a comedy, and a hilarious one at that. I laughed out loud at the naked vegans dancing in the supermarket aisles to deter shoppers from buying animal products.

hello. thank you for watching #carnage this evening. you know what to do. goodbye.

Uma publicação partilhada por Simon Amstell (@thisissimonamstell) a

If you want to get specific about the film's sub-genre, it could perhaps best be described as a mockumentary.

At least, that’s how most non-vegans will see it. For vegans, it’s more like a vision of the future that we hope for and dream of. Of all the vegan films that I have seen, this is the one that fills me with the most hope.

With Carnage, Simon Amstell has done the impossible. He has made a film about eating animals that will make both vegans and non-vegans laugh, and perhaps even bridge the divide between them.

Each of us has our own set of skills, talents and tools we can use to share the vegan message in our own unique way. Amstell’s preferred tool – laughter – is perhaps the most powerful of all.

It’s difficult to bring up the issue of veganism without making non-vegans feel judged and attacked. Comedy, however, makes it easy for people to let their guard down.

Non-vegan viewers of Carnage might think at first that they are laughing at vegans. If they are part of a mixed audience, however, they will soon see that they are actually laughing with the vegans in the room.

And by the end, they may even be laughing at themselves.

Carnage: Swallowing the Past was commissioned expressly for BBC iPlayer, which is currently the only official distributer of the film. If you are in the UK, you can watch it on iPlayer here.

If you are anywhere else in the world, catch it on YouTube at this link, but act fast before it gets taken down.

Pro Tip: You can download a free software called Clip Grab that will allow you to save YouTube videos on your computer and watch them later.

Hopefully, there will soon be a more official channel for the distribution of Carnage outside the UK. Because every human being needs to see this film.

Here’s to a vegan future!

​Feature image credit: Photo by BBC via Simon Amstell on Twitter

About Wendy Werneth

Intrepid traveller, vegan foodie and polyglot. Having become vegan after many years of travel across 7 continents and nearly 100 countries, I'm on a mission to show you how fun and fulfilling vegan travel can be.

6 Comments

  1. I had this film on my iPlayer until yesterday when it expired and I had thought it was no longer available to send to others, so thanks! I think the film is being a little over-optinistic about the time frame, considering what a tiny minority of the world’s population we are, and that even a century would be too soon to hope for. However, I am presently writing a sci-fi fantasy tale set three thousand years into the future, and in that it is among many other improvements to have been introduced. This film is both entertaining and sickening in places. I wish it well.

    Some UK restaurant chains have recently woken up to our existence and needs, notably Zizzi and Le Pain Quotidien, and the pub chain JD Wetherspoon has a quite substantial vegan menu avaliable on display. I never find problems at conference venues or educational establishments, and even hospital cafes and restaurants usually have something to offer. But upmarket restaurants and almost all hotels will only bother themselves if one is among a group. There is much education to be done, and one can’t look to the Vegan Society, which seems only concerned with selling its logo.

    Some very surprising countries, where animal foods are deeply ingrained in the gastronomic culture, are waking up to plant foods, notably Hungary, I am told Poland and Italy, where most railway station cafes now offer a substantial sandwich called Vegano, seven hot or cold according to choice. If they weren’t popular I doubt they would continue to be displayed. The same catering company, Chef Express, has a fairly wide choice of vegan items displayed in its Juice Bar at Milan ‘s Stazione Centrale, if one gets there before they are sold out. Some countries pose a tough challenge, however, notably across Latin America, Greece and Russia. Best for vegans are Israel and those countries where English is the first language.

    • Thanks for the detailed info about the situation in the UK, Peter! I’m actually traveling in Italy at the moment, so I can comment on that. The vegan movement definitely is growing here. Many snack bars now offer vegan croissants, which is the typical breakfast eaten by Italians. And there are lots of dishes in Italian cuisine that are already plant-based, so finding food here is never a problem. I have seen vegan sandwiches in the train station in Rome, though I don’t think they’ve made it to many of the smaller stations yet. But here in Sicily (where I’m traveling right now), there are other vegan snack foods that are widely available, such as pane panelle – a sandwich filled with chickpea fritters.

    • Ooops! For seven above read served

    • Ooops! For seven in my first post read served

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