First up we have Fat Gay Vegan: Eat, Drink and Live Like You Give a Sh!t by Sean O’Callaghan of the well known Fat Gay Vegan blog.
We LOVE this book. It’s political but it’s also deeply personal, containing many stories from the lives of Sean and other contributors. The book is about how to be vegan, but it’s more about how to be a better vegan, and really it’s about how to be a better person. And we can all work on that.
It’s refreshing to read a vegan book that tackles how minorities and traditionally oppressed voices are treated, even within the vegan community. We have experienced and witnessed shocking able-ism and racism in our 21 years as vegans, and yes, sadly, sometimes from vegans. It weakens the movement. It weakens the world. It needs to end.
And we can all check our privilege. We can all watch our language. Some in this house have, upon occasion, described various unfortunate things as ‘crazy’. Not good, Vegan Family House, not good.
So it’s a challenging book, a personally challenging book, but it’s in no way downbeat or depressing. Although forthright, it’s written with a compassionate sense of humour. It’s empowering. Why should we shut up and put up about our veganism to please or appease non-vegan friends and relatives? At the end of each chapter there are little refuelling stops with delicious and simple recipes and food suggestions. And in the final chapter Sean predicts a world that continues to become more vegan, and perhaps more importantly, more kind.
For those who don’t know, Veganuary is a charity that encourages people to go vegan for January and the rest of the year. And this is their compelling guide. It’s so persuasive that apparently the proof-reader went vegan!
The book has sections on why you should be vegan, with warnings of graphic content that you can choose to read or not, and then being vegan at home, when out, visiting friends, answering questions, and everyday foods you maybe didn’t know were vegan. It’s a very good starting point for anyone who is thinking of going vegan and wondering how to go about it and how hard/easy it will be.
Eating: a simple trifle made of bananas in vegan jelly, topped with thick custard and this rather nice provamel cream (we were lucky enough to find a few of these cheaply on Approved Food recently). There’s a more detailed trifle recipe on the Vegan Christmas page.
When we first started this website and journey in 1998 veganism was quite a far throw from the mainstream. Vegan cheese was only to be found in health food shops and newspapers reported on the lifestyle as if it were something akin to a cult.
We remember the excitement when the first vegan white chocolate came out and the delight taken in a simple vegan sausage roll.
What changes there have been since then! And so many of them in the last couple of years.
You can now choose from a huge variety of vegan cheeses in most supermarkets. Tesco sells ready to eat vegan macaroni cheese. Both Asda and Tesco have a value garlic bread that is vegan. And Quorn – finally – have a few vegan products.
Since this article on restaurants missing out on half a million vegan diners many chains have come out with vegan menus. MacDonald’s have removed that beef ingredient from their fries (in the UK at least) and do a vegan burger. Wagamama, Costa, Pret, Starbucks, Handmade Burger Co., Las Iguanas, Yo Sushi, Zizzi: they all cater for us, and well. Ben and Jerry’s have three new vegan flavours of ice cream…
Yes. It’s wonderful! Long may it continue and grow!