‘Vegucated’ digs into some meaty issues

For six weeks, they gave up their bacon, their cheese, their kosher hot dogs. Could three New Yorkers stay on the kale wagon — or would they fall back into a vat of beef stew?

That is the challenge, and dramatic arc, of the new documentary, “Vegucated,” which screens at Landmark’s E Street Cinema tomorrow for one night only. (You can order tickets here.)

In the film, vegan filmmaker Marisa Miller Wolfson guides three sometimes adventurous, sometimes reluctant participants on their transformative journey from carnivores to herbivores, tigers to koalas.


Filmmaker Marisa Miller Wolfson puts three meat eaters through the paces. (Stephen de las Heras)

Flegel’s compatriots on the odyssey are Tesla Lobo, a college student who lives with her parents in Queens and subsists on their Latin American meal plan, and Ellen Mausner, a single mother of two who temptingly lives near Nathan’s on Coney Island.

Borrowing a screenplay page from “Super Size Me,” the gut-wrenching documentary by guinea pig/goat Morgan Spurlock, Miller Wolfson makes the New Yorkers undergo bloodwork and a physical, in order to compare their health before and after. For further edification, the director takes her charges on a shopping excursion, pointing out such veg-friendly epiphanies as Smart Deli bologna, flaxseed and Oreos. They also pile into the car for field trips to a farm, a vegetarian symposium and an animal sanctuary where they set two chickens free.

No spoiler alert here; we are not cliffhanger crushers. You have to see the movie — at 7:30 p.m. — to learn whether the trio makes it to Week 6 and...beyond. But we will issue a warning: Some of the images are tougher to watch than Spurlock upchucking his mega-meal through the car window. I peeked at most of Week 3 through splayed fingers.

If you miss the flick, don’t fret. Starting in January, you can host a viewing party, as part of the film’s community screenings campaign. For movie treats, I suggest kale chips, popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast and Oreos. Leave the meat in the freezer.

Andrea Sachs (not the one who wears Prada) has been writing for Travel since 2000. She travels near (Ellicott City, Jersey Shore) and far (Burma, Namibia, Russia), and finds adventure no matter the mileage. She is all packed for the Moon or North Korea, whichever opens first.

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