I’ve been so busy since Christmas that I’m a bit late reviewing Issue 3 of Vegan Life magazine. I was really looking forward to finding the time to read the next issue but sad to say that I was a little disappointed this time round.
Most of this issue has a ‘new year, new you, detox and superfoods’ feel to it, which is really just not me. At all. While I have nothing against the occasional green smoothie, I hate this whole detox, superfoods, faddy diet type stuff so I found myself flicking past a lot of the articles because they were of no interest to me.
There were a few nice recipes that caught my eye. The crispy baked onion rings looked delicious and I’m definitely going to try the Chinese Steamed Buns, they look surprisingly easy to make. There was also a pretty good article on positive ways to encourage people to go vegan, which is great. I spend a lot of time on vegan outreach events and I think this article would be useful for people new to activism as I think when you’re passionate but feeling (rightly) angry at the world, it can be easy for that to sneak into the discussion, potentially pushing people away.
The detox theme wasn’t the only thing to disappoint me in this issue. In the first Vegan Life there was an article on whether it’s vegan to eat eggs from rescue chickens, which I just found odd. I was really sad to see the article ‘Should Vegans Eat Honey? A Sticky Issue’. I hoped that the next page would be blank except for a massive ‘NO’ in the middle of it. Unfortunately there was the whole Yes vs No debate to follow. Honey isn’t vegan, there’s no sticky issue here, it’s pretty clear. Vegans don’t eat animal products and that’s exactly what honey is. I got really annoyed reading the argument for honey. I don’t turn to a vegan magazine to read that not eating honey ‘gives vegans a bad name’ or avoiding it is a ‘step too far’. I was rolling my eyes at the argument that honey is wild and humans have been eating it forever. Essentially the same argument that is used over and over again by omnivores justifying the consumption of meat, dairy and eggs.
The debate was followed by vegan alternatives to honey, which is great, but the whole yes vs no argument felt so unnecessary for me. I would understand an article informing readers of why honey isn’t vegan, but to me this kind of article has no place in a vegan magazine and I was really disappointed. With this issue being available throughout Veganuary, I would hate to think that people new to veganism would see honey as an optional thing to avoid when working towards veganism. I was browsing the Vegan Life Facebook page and was gutted to see a ‘vegan’ responding to this article by asking where to get ‘ethical honey’.
The final disappointment was found in the vegan news section. I was really frustrated to see Vegan Life praising the blog and cookbook ‘Thug Kitchen’. To be fair to Vegan Life, they are not alone in promoting this book. I’ve expressed my disappointment to VegFest (and received an appalling and offensive response, but that’s another post for another day!) and I’m sad to see many online vegan friends get excited over it. For anyone not in the loop, the following articles explain why it is so problematic, so take a look at what Bryant Terry has to say, this open letter to Thug Kitchen and this post by Sistah Vegan (if anyone has any other posts/articles they want to add just drop a link in the comments section). Whilst Vegan Life are not alone, I’d like to think that a decent amount of research goes into this news segment and these articles aren’t hard to come across. I cannot imagine how anyone can possibly think Thug Kitchen is a good thing after reading these articles, it is not simply a matter of what people find funny or personal taste and I hope Vegan Life reconsider their position.
Overall I wasn’t particularly happy with this issue, but I’m hopeful that there will be more content that interests me and less problematic next time round.