vegansaurus!

03/30/2011

The Martha Stewart vegan episode! Megan Rascal’s recap!  »


Here I am post-Martha Stewart show! I’m totally Hollywood now and can barely condescend to talk to you guys anymore. Just kidding! It’s the same old me. But the show was so fun! Bad news: she uses honey in her granola bar recipe with Kathy Freston. Good news: she said she’s giving up beef!

So yeah, the honey thing. It was just like, she was adding ingredients to these granola bars and then, all of a sudden, she added the honey! It happened so fast! I don’t know if Freston even had time to say anything! But my heart SANK. It had been going SO WELL up until then. Biz's segment at the beginning was great and his recipe looked super. Freston was kind of peppy and seemed very focused on the weight-loss angle but she was also a font of information. Then BAM! Martha adds the honey. There was a low gasp in the crowd and I buried my face in my hands. Why, Martha, why!

My official opinion: The honey connection is not obvious to everyone so I think she JUST DIDN’T KNOW. SO this should be viewed as an opportunity to educate, not to attack her. The good Martha did with this episode outweighs the bad; she exposed your everyday American to the realities of factory farming! And considering her other episodes use all kinds of meat, eggs and dairy and that she’s not in fact vegan, this episode was a big step forward. I’m sure there will be varying opinions, but that’s mine.

Now for the beef! In questions after the show, someone asked if we’d be seeing more vegan stuff from Martha in the future and she began to talk about a recent experience with some beef she bought:

I didn’t buy it from my regular butcher; I usually buy three pounds of good ground chuck and I took it home—this was from the supermarket—and I rolled it in my hands and my hands were stained red and I vowed I wouldn’t eat beef again…. No really, it was horrifying…. What the heck do they do to the beef that made my hands red? It shouldn’t do that.

Uh, no, it shouldn’t do that. Hey, imagine how many people will give up beef if Martha does! SO MANY! Hopefully she will replace that beef with veggies and seitan instead of chicken and fish. She also said she doesn’t eat veal and that she’s just been slowly progressing toward a more plant-based diet. OMJESUS WHAT IF MARTHA GOES VEGAN?! That would be like the greatest day of my life. It would be the greatest day of the world’s life!

Other things that happened: I was in the very front row and that was close enough to see the beautiful sparkle in Gene Baur’s eyes. Really. It’s quite a sparkle. His conversation with Martha was really great. Did you know she adopted a sheep from Farm Sanctuary? She did. And Baur was totally well spoken and informative. She asked him if they ate the eggs the chickens lay at Farm Sanctuary and Baur’s answer was, “no, because we want to set an example.” Great answer, no? He said they feed the eggs to some of the other animals and Martha was like, “Like what would happen in nature!” So I liked that chat a lot. 

Biz was really good and everyone thought he was hilarious. At one point while they were filming, the stage manager turned to another person on stage like, “this guy is really funny!” So everyone was impressed. Biz made his wife Livia's amazing seitan Bourguignon (I hella just spelled that). And Martha seems totally into twitter. And Laura pointed out that she has a white iPad which is totally baller. Her shoes were pretty too but I can’t speak to whether or not they were vegan. Oh and Martha was totally funny and pretty and great and I LOVE HER.

That’s not all! Check out all the swag I got!:
I’m rich!

All in all, I think it was pretty successful. The honey setback was unfortunate but overall, I think what Martha did to shed light on factory farming was awesome. I hope this snowball keeps rolling! More vegan episodes! More vegans! Vegans, vegans, everywhere!

11/08/2010

Meet your new ruling class overlords: The Power Vegans  »

Businessweek informs us of an important new trend among CEOs in our ruling class elite: they’re going vegan. Already bored of private jets and trophy wives, these wealthy and powerful men (yes, just men) are looking to veganism to remind the rest of us down here exactly how wealthy and powerful they are. Veganism, you see, is the new status symbol, available only to those who can afford such luxuries with such exotic names like “tofurkey” or “rice and beans.”

Or so Businessweek says. The truth is probably much more mundane than that. If 1 percent of America is vegan, well statistically speaking, that should include 1 percent of CEOs. OK, so Steve Wynn, John Mackey and Biz Stone are vegan, but of that group, Mackey and Stone were vegan before finding their success. So where’s the trend?

If anything, the wealthy business community is going the opposite direction, by riding the Ayn Rand wave that’s been sweeping the (wealthy/white) nation since Day 1 of Obama’s presidency. Fantasizing over “going Galt” is just the gateway drug to social Darwinism, and by extension, dietary Darwinism: the conceit that we must dominate and eat captive animals to prove that humans are always and forever “the fittest.”

I suppose we should be thankful for any positive mainstream media coverage on veganism, but really, it would be great to knock it off with the “men who choose veganism do so for manly masculine reasons, such as power! and strength! and display of riches to attract a suitable mate to bear our male heirs!” message. Whether it’s “hegans” or “power vegans,” all these attempts to rebrand veganism for men (for manly masculine men) just come off as defensive.

Or like we’re over-compensating. Because everyone knows that cooking food and other maternal things, like fussing over cute little animals, is and should always remain the province of women and their ovaries. Never mind that the choice to go vegan is nearly always one of both reason and emotion: “we just don’t have enough land and water to keep eating like this”/”torturing animals in factories is depressing and horrific”— thoughts that are equally available in the healthy brains of both genders.

It’s hard to say what this made-up-the-night-before-deadline trend piece is for, other than to annoy vegan bloggers, delight Ingrid Newkirk, and get Joel Stein paid. No one reads Businessweek after all, unless they’re stuck waiting in a dentist’s office for more than 20 minutes. But if idolizing rich and powerful men is what it takes to peel away a handful of new vegans, then I guess we’ll take it. I’m especially looking forward to my review copy of the Power Vegan Cookbook. It’s amazing what you can whip up if you keep your kitchen pantry stocked with personal chefs and an American Express Centurion Card.

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