IN THE MOVIE Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the hapless Scott has to fight for the charming Ramona Flowers’ heart by defeating her seven evil exes. As he works through the list of her formidable ex-lovers, the poor bugger generally gets pummeled and beaten within an inch of his life. One of the evil exes is Todd Ingram, a vegan who delivers a particularly nasty thumping. This extract from the film pretty much covers the situation:
Scott Pilgrim: [slamming fists on table.] That’s IT! You cocky cock! You’ll pay for your crimes against humanity!
[Scott lunges to attack Todd, but is frozen by psychic energy. Todd, eyes glowing and hair standing on end, levitates Scott into the air.]
Scott Pilgrim: [choking.] My neck. [gasps.] Your hair.
Envy Adams: Didn’t you know? Todd’s vegan.
[Todd flings Scott through a brick wall into an alleyway outside.]
Scott Pilgrim: [standing up.] Vegan?
Todd Ingram: It’s not really that big of a deal.
Scott Pilgrim: No kidding. Anyone can be vegan.
Todd Ingram: Ovo-lacto-vegetarian, maybe.
Scott Pilgrim: Ovo-what?
Todd Ingram: I partake not in the meat, nor the breastmilk, nor the ovum, of any creature with a face.
Envy Adams: Short answer: being vegan just makes you better than most people.
Todd Ingram: Bingo.
[Todd punches Scott and sends him, screaming, high into the air and out of sight.]
Stephen Stills: Hey, man, question: I always wondered, how does not eating dairy products give you psychic powers?
Todd Ingram: [rolls eyes.] Okay, you know how you only use ten percent of your brain? That’s because the other 90 percent is filled with curds and whey.
Kim Pine: [dismissive.] Did you learn that at vegan academy?
Todd Ingram: Go ahead and get snippy, baby, but if you knew the science, maybe I’d listen to a word you’re saying.
Todd’s vegan powers effectively make him unbeatable (and give him great hair). He easily kicks Scott’s butt and then crushes him in an epic bass guitar battle. Todd is only defeated when Scott tricks him into drinking coffee laced with half and half, which triggers the arrival of the Vegan Police, who then remove Todd’s vegan powers with their Deveganize-Ray for a “third-strike” offense (gelato and a plate of chicken parmesan being Todd’s first two strikes).
This cool movie is one of my favourite films, and so far, I’ve seen it 43 times (seriously). When I went vegan about seven months ago, at some level I was kind of hoping that I’d manifest the same vegan powers as Todd so I could wreak havoc on ex-employers and other assorted anti-social types.
Given that I’d never been to Vegan Academy, a massive surge of psychic-energy seemed unlikely, but over the months I’m happy to say that I’ve definitely noticed a change. Slowly but surely, my energy levels have increased. I’ve been feeling fitter in general and my bike rides have changed from endless slogs through purgatory to something approximating fun, even when hills were involved. Gym workouts have become more intense and my recovery times shorter. Basically, I’ve been training harder, more often and getting more results in every area – even the last stubborn bodyfat is melting away, thanks in part to training harder but also because my diet is much healthier than it was as a vegetarian. Junk food? What’s that?
Despite the huge increases in training volume, the sore throats and low-level colds that I used to get when I pushed myself too hard are no longer a factor in my life. I haven’t had so much as a dose of the sniffles in ages. In addition, I’ve been sleeping better than I ever have before. I’m still no Rip Van Winkle but a semi-decent night’s sleep is no longer unheard of – this has had a further positive effect on my recovery times.
Another rather strange manifestation of my new vegan powers is Stench-Resistance. Believe it or not, all those tall tales of vegans, raw vegans and fruitarians only showering every so often have proved to be true. I train more-or-less daily, yet workouts in the summer heat that once would have led me to choose a hot shower over an encounter with the aforementioned (and exceedingly lovely Ramona Flowers) now don’t have any effect at all from a BO perspective. A shower every second or third day is fine.
So with all these positive effects, you’d be forgiven for wondering about the negatives. I’m happy to say that there haven’t been any. I was a bit worried about how much I’d miss Cadbury’s Crème Eggs when they rolled into the supermarkets. I used to love these little things – last year, a friend gave me 75 of them and I ate every one. My old addiction turned out to be a non-event – I walked into my local supermarket, saw the massive red, yellow and blue egg display and felt not a whit of affection or desire.
Once you understand that they’re nothing but balls of unhealthy bovine secretions extracted under awful conditions requiring the ill-treatment and death of animals, well then it’s hard to actually want to eat them. The same goes for Halloumi cheese – I don’t miss it at all but frankly, even if I were afflicted by a crippling desire for dairy or eggs (real or otherwise), I wouldn’t go there. The health benefits of being a vegan and the sense of good will that comes from not being party to murder and torture far outweigh any fleeting joy that might come from pigging out on certain foods. Based on my experience so far, I can say without doubt that if you eat dairy, it’s holding you back. Get rid of it for a month and see if you go back. I’m betting you won’t. Anyway, who the heck wants 90 percent of their brain to be filled with curds and whey? ASHLEY KRAMER