Question about ethics


Apr 24, 2016
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  1. Vegan
Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, but I've been unable to find an actual perspective on this issue.
Is it ethical to watch films and Tv programmes that feature things like the use of meat and fur? I ask this because I am a Game of Thrones fan and wondered if I am contributing to animal exploitation by watching the show? What does everyone else think?
It's not a dumb question!

But there's no straightforward answer either. Vegans, on the whole, make up for a very small percentage of our global population. An even smaller percentage has made it into the film industry (apart from a few celebrities who might think it's 'cool', even fewer are genuine) and, what is more, film and television generally feed of the status quo or from history - neither of which are very vegan. To a different extent I tried to address this same issue on another forum thread here.

As for Game of Thrones, I can tell you that the show is sympathetic to the diets of its actors. Peter Dinklage, for instance, is vegetarian. All the scenes where you see him eating meat (there's a particularly good sausage scene he shares with Nickolaj C-W), he is actually eating vegetarian meat. Jerome Flynn is also vegetarian and the same applies to him.

I can tell you that if a show's viewing statistics were to drop, the network producers would not be thinking 'oh, it's not vegetarian enough'. In fact, they probably wouldn't think much about it at all before they dropped it and invested their money in something else. It's still an industry that's ruled by aesthetic - in the case of Game of Thrones it's clearly a late medieval/early Renaissance aesthetic. That's not to say we can't do something about the use of animal products, though. When Forbes published just how much real fur Game of Thrones was using there was a backlash which extended all the way to the tours they give at the Belfast set.

I suggest we look for these moments and use them try to change the industry. Boycotts will only lead to the big suits replacing the same cogs in the wheel.