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First off, something positive; the character design in the Vegan Artbook is really nice. Most characters are aesthetically pleasing, and there are even some variations in eye shape and facial structure. Looking nice is the only thing going for this, though. There is no plot, and no attempts at characterization. Worst of all, this comic fails as propaganda. Aside from the numerous factual inaccuracies mentioned on this site, Priya fails at making her protagonists more sympathetic than her antagonists. It's Shawn, the meat eating main antagonist, that has the most physical abuse heaped on him, it's Shawn who was rejected by his sisters and girlfriend for his diet, and so it's Shawn and the other omnivores who gets the most sympathy compared to the inhumanly perfect vegans, who never make mistakes or get angry or do anything that would serve to make them relatable. When the guy who disagrees with your message is your most sympathetic character, it really hurts whatever point you're trying to make, since one is more inclined to agree with characters they like.
I was friends with Priya several years ago. She was kind of a big sister figure to me, and helped me out with some people who were harassing me online. That's why it pains me that she would go this far down the slippery slope and create an awful comic such as this.
The main problem with Vegan Artbook is that it is a "The War on Straw" creation. The characters all lack personality outside of being vegans and meat-eaters. Oh, I'm sorry, "carnists." The comic primarily exists to show why Priya considers veganism to be superior to "carnism," and it seems she can only do so by making the "carnists" into strawmen (which ironically makes her seem like a Straw Vegan). She shows no understanding for why people choose to eat meat outside of "it tastes good." She offers no reason why veganism is better other than animals, I guess. And since she doesn't understand why people eat meat or dairy, she basically doesn't give any counterarguments to why people in the real world choose to eat meat (for example, I eat meat since I actually cannot stomach vegetables; they make me quite ill). Instead, most of her arguments are ad hominem. For instance, in one comic, a carnist says he's at the top of the food chain. A vegan then takes out a pen and writes "L" over "D," making him the top of the "fool chain." I'm sorry, how is that a convincing argument? Likewise, despite finding killing animals to be horrible, she finds killing humans to be acceptable, as shown in one comic where a vegan kills a carnist. Rather than give some explanations as to health benefits of veganism, or offering ways to get necessary nutrients from vegetables, she just mocks "carnists." The sad thing is that one comment I saw on her DeviantArt page said that the comic had convinced them to go vegan. This would be like becoming a Christian after watching Left Behind with Nicholas Cage. I could maybe forgive it if it were funny, but the comic would rather be preachy than entertaining. Very few strips actually have something that could be considered a punch line.
The one thing I can give the comic is it's well-drawn, which gives it points over Sonichu, Starfighter, or Gamer Chicks. But the cute little drawings spouting off strawman, hypocritical arguments over the morality of eating meat is a bit off-putting. Other than the graphics, the comic is irremediable. It's preachy, hypocritical, humorless, and an overall waste of drawing talent. I am so sad that Priya became this kind of person, and I hope she changes for the best.
This story ignores any criticism thrown at it and resorts continuously to using Strawman arguments in order to prove its point. Whenever a legitimate point against veganism is brought up, it is shot down with faulty information at best. It repeatedly claims that humans are not naturally omnivores, but frugivores, in spite of all evidence. In a similar vein, it goes out of its way to claim that milk does not provide nutrition for humans past infancy. Overall, this webcomic is merely a shameless attempt by the author to promote her views and is best ignored. Any attempt to criticize will be ignored. You have been warned.
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