In this blog I shall be discussing two interpretations of the statement ‘viva las vegan’ mentioned in the film ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’. I think it goes without saying –spoilers ahead!!!!!! You have been warned.
The reason this stuck out to me is obviously because I am vegan myself, but at first I was unsure of the connotations this phrase had (and to be honest, I still am). I wasn’t sure if it was said to devalue the vegan message, or whether it was said to credit it.
1 Vegans are Extreme
In general, vegans are depicted as extremist tree huggers that force their opinions daily. In this film the antagonist, Poppy, was clearly portrayed as being a villain with psychotic tendencies, living an extremely isolated way of life, in the jungle.
It is fair to say that vegans are already widely diminished in society and it is Poppy who brings up veganism at the end. To most people watching, particularly non-veggies, Poppy’s psychotic tendencies feed into the public image and stereotype that vegans are extreme; it shows an extremist, supporting veganism, therefore putting veganism and extremism in the same category.
Poppy was even found to be encouraging others to be cannibalistic. This is obviously something that is not accepted within society and so when she endorsed veganism at the end, it would follow that people would not accept this. Why would someone heed the words of an extremist psychopath?
2 ‘Long Live Vegan(s)’
An instant translation of ‘viva las vegan’ is, of course, ‘long live vegans,’ so Poppy was clearly stating her opinion that veganism is good. This could be because, statistically, vegans tend to live longer (as vegans are at lower risk of having type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many other illnesses). So perhaps, she meant it literally.
Moreover, I noticed in the film, that Poppy presented several hypocrisies. For example, she stated that alcohol has a negative effect on the body, just as drugs do, yet one is legal and the other is not. Hence, this film could lead us to question whether we ought to trust the law as being a moral guideline. Why it is legal to drink alcohol and not to do drugs, when they both are not good for us? And why is it legal to have sugar, when this is just as addictive as drugs? Along this thought process, you could say that it is legal to eat non-human meat, dairy and eggs, yet despite their legality, these things are, too, addictive and detrimental to our health.
Furthermore, when Poppy encouraged Angel to mince and eat a human he and the audience were made to feel uncomfortable. It was repulsive to see a human being used for meat. It also compelled the audience to feel that Poppy should be punished. As Poppy was a spokesperson for the hypocrisies of human kind, perhaps this was included to make us think about why we have an issue with eating humans when we are animals too.
When we eat non-human meat no one is punished, despite the vast amount of cruelty involved to produce it. Morally, most people are against animal cruelty. Very few people would see an animal crying out for help, whilst it was about to have it’s throat slit, and be fine with it/ let it happen. This highlights that humans are not meant to eat meat, as a lion, for example, would have it’s mouthwatering at the sight of this. However, a lot of meat eaters would pay someone to do this for them and still claim to be ‘animal lovers.’ Deep down and morally people do not like animal cruelty, yet they contribute to it everyday through eating meat, dairy and eggs and thus this leads them to be hypocritical (without maybe even realising it-I certainly did not think about it when I was not vegan). Therefore, Poppy’s statement ‘viva las vegan’ may be implying that vegans are not hypocritical, as they would accept that eating any animal is wrong, if they claim to love them, and so their morals and actions align. This opposes, say, meat eater’s morals who claim to love animals, whilst eating them. Those who eat meat cannot say they love animals, as they endorse cruelty against them by supporting the meat, dairy and egg industries and so are hypocritical in that respect.
‘Viva Las Vegas’ celebarates Vegas, a place of pleasure, where, commonly, you will find a lot of drug and alcohol use, strippers and gluttonous behaviour. All these things are unhealthy and can be dangerous. By using the phrase ‘Viva Las Vegan’ Poppy presents a juxtapositon, as veganism is associated with celebrating healthy eating, being anti -hypocritcal and compassionate. Therefore, perhaps Poppy’s message was that we celebrate the wrong things in society and we should be focussing on being less hypocritcal with our actions. After all, her life ended on a high and this could be owing to the fact she accepted her own hypocracy.
Unfortunately I do believe the vast majority of people would take the first interpretation (if they even took notice of the phrase at all). I believe this, as most non-vegans do not have a great understanding of veganism itself and the underlying compassion and non-hypocritical message it presents. I would argue that mainly vegans would take the second approach, not only because it is the kindest, but also because it does seem to be the most plausible if you really think about it. Not to mention that it was actually the phrase ‘viva las vegan’ that saved humanity. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.
… I know I have just written a whole blog about one sentence mentioned in the film, lol, but what was it meant to mean?? Let me know your thoughts!!
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/compassionisthefashion.
‘ All the arguments to prove man’s superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals.’ – Peter Singer
Co-written myself and my brother, Daniel Kostick