Animal Planet and its growing collection of people-centered reality series will soon give television yet another series about cupcakes. The 12 half-hour episodes of Sweet Avenger, which debuts this summer, follows vegan cupcake baker Danielle Konya.
How is this related to animals? Danielle says in the network’s press release, “I want to show people that by eating a vegan confection, you’re directly saving the lives of cows, chickens and thereby the environment and habitats of thousands of other exotic species. There’s nothing appetizing about the suffering of 10 billion animals a year, and my treats can satisfy both the palate and the conscience.”
I’d be more skeptical about the fit with Animal Planet had I not just read novelist Jonathan Safran Foer’s exceptional nonfiction book Eating Animals, which he wrote when his son was born to figure out what kind of food he should be eating and feeding his kid. The book–which I highly recommend reading; it’s fascinating–argues that you either support cruelty to animals and ecological destruction, or you stop eating animals. Even organic products or “free-range” eggs are produced in ways that involve ridiculous cruelty, so it’ll be interesting to see how that argument translates to reality TV and cupcakes.