Earlier this Spring, I received a press copy of The Sexy Vegan by Brian L. Patton. The release of vegan cookbooks has become pretty damn overwhelming in recent years, and I dug seeing one stand out with such personality. ‘Sexy’s’, as my vegan food nerd friends and I refer to it, is written by a self-described “ordinary dude” who creates “extraordinary food”; a professional and home chef turned vegan, and his inspiring story is inside. More importantly, are his recipes, presented with his very ‘Sexy’ introductions. It’s that great personality, that while browsing, I had such mixed feelings about. I had read nothing but outstanding, likeable press, and it struck me as odd that no one else seemed to share my concerns…as a woman. Was it bro humor? Who was this for?
After trying out a few recipes, I lent my copy of ‘Sexy’ to my close friend, writer Maeve Connor, thinking she would get something of a kick out of it, and try out one of the intriguing drink recipes. She definitely seemed to, and gives her take below. That being said, in the past few months, I’ve started following Brian on twitter and Instagram, and I’ve come to find him genuinely relatable and charming. So, is the shtick working? There’s so much more to discuss.
Maeve’s guest post follows…
Veganism for Douchebags
aka Commentary on The Sexy Vegan
by Maeve Connor
It’s exciting to watch veganism become more and more mainstream. I love that you can get vegan nachos in suburban malls now, or that you can learn about veganism from Oprah, The New York Times, and the cookbook section in every chain bookstore in America. You are even officially allowed to go vegan without getting any sort of facial piercing now—great news for those of us who hate needles! In fact, veganism has become so mainstream that even sexist douchebag guys are vegan now and write books about it! Hallelujah. Wait, actually, I think I would rather return to a time when all vegans lived on communes and ate mostly sprouts.
I’ve been vegan since I was 17, but according to my mom I’ve been feminist since birth. My veganism and feminism basically come from the same place. I’ve always been a strong believer in justice and opposed to oppressing those weaker than you. Exploiting and torturing animals because we like the taste of hamburgers just never seemed like a good idea to me, which is why I announced to my parents that I wouldn’t eat cows or pigs anymore when I was nine. Even at a young age, I identified with the animals who never had a voice and had no autonomy over their bodies or lives. Marginalized groups of people (women, people of color, queer people, etcetera) also frequently do not have autonomy over their bodies or lives—it wasn’t a hard connection to make. So can we please stop coming up with vegan stuff that is sexist and offensive?
Obviously there are the sexist and fatphobic PETA ads. Those have been talked about plenty, so I’m not even going to touch them here. (But seriously, PETA, just stop it.) Then there was Skinny Bitch which told women they should go vegan out of hatred for themselves and their bodies. There’s Meat is for Pussies, a book which confuses me because meat sucks and as a queer lady I think pussies are great so what’s the connection? (But seriously, can you believe that is a book title? It makes me want to throw up.) And more recently, there is The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude.
While The Sexy Vegan isn’t on the same level of offensiveness as Meat is for Pussies, it’s still pretty annoying. There are obnoxious recipe names like The Fat Ass, The Real Man’s Quiche and The S.I.L.F. (Yes, that does stand for Sandwich I’d Like to Fuck—finally, bros who only ever think about sex can relate to veganism!) Worst of all is The Girlfriend’s Favorite Salad That She Constantly Asks Me to Make and Won’t Shut the Hell Up About. It’s funny because women are nagging bitches, get it?
Against my better judgment, I did make some recipes from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook. I started with The Beet Down, a salad with roasted beets, beet greens, fennel, iceberg lettuce (weird, right?), cashews, and a citrus vinaigrette with tarragon. It was fine, though I felt weird buying iceberg lettuce for the first time in my life, and I thought the vinaigrette needed more tang. I am, however, always excited about beet recipes that utilize beet greens because I think they’re tasty and I hate waste.
Of course I had to check out the cocktail chapter, since cocktails are my favorite thing. Overall it is pretty boring, though I might try making a margarita with homemade hibiscus syrup at some point. This time I stuck with the Get Some, which features champagne and a puree of macerated strawberries. He recommends serving it with dark chocolate, so I figured I might as well treat myself. It was good—because it was champagne and strawberries, duh—but I don’t know if I needed a recipe to figure it out.
Overall, the recipes in The Sexy Vegan Cookbook are uninspiring, and many are surprisingly fussy. Does anyone like a recipe where you have to flip all over the book to find other recipes to make it? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Does anyone want to put rum in their oatmeal? Not anyone over the age of 16, I don’t think.
I’m vegan because I care about animals, so I’m thrilled that veganism is becoming more accessible. I’m glad there are vegan men in the public eye, especially because eating meat is often seen as so masculine. But is it wrong to expect a little more from vegans? Like maybe if we can talk about animal rights, we can also talk about what masculinity means and why we value it. Maybe we can not make sexist jokes about our nagging girlfriends. Maybe we could not perpetuate fatphobia. (Oops, that was about PETA again.) After all, people are animals too. And women are people too! Even when they won’t shut up about salad.
Note: The above piece featured independent content that was not created by Get Sconed!