The vegan male has been trending recently. The March/April issue of VegNews is called “The Man Issue,” and the cover is a spin off on Esquire. In fact, the Editor’s Note of the issue is a love letter to the man’s magazine, in which editor Elizabeth Castoria begins by confessing her adoration: “From the rugged jawlines of your studly cover subjects to the whimsy with which you banter, you get so much right.” Castoria then goes on to say the one thing that she doesn’t think Eqsquire gets right—and it’s a pretty big one. Castoria writes “I don’t think you know what a man is.”

The idea of what makes a man is changing, and the newest issue of VegNews is dedicated to just that: the new man. It explores the emphasis our society has always put on meat, and its role in manliness! No more!

In the issue, Joshua Katcher, the founder of the Discerning Brute (who I had the pleasure to meet at the Wildflower Super Bowl party this year!) writes a terrific feature about the stereotypes of men and how they are changing. The feature, located on page 42, is called the evolution of man and discusses how compassionate, inspiring and strong vegan men are redefining our cultural ideals about how a man should look, think and act.

The article also mentions the way society markets meat to men. Examples include the 2011 Wendy’s commercial: “Real Bacon. Only for Real Men.” Or how about the Weight Watcher’s ad geared towards men which reads “Eat like a man. Not Like a Rabbit.” Katcher makes the terrific point that no men would be upset by saying he does it like a rabbit, but “eating a diet that supports that same bountiful virility is the subject of scorn.” Right on, Katcher! I smell what you’re stepping in, and it smells damn good.

There has been a sexy stir in the media following PETA’s violent sexual campaign about how vegan men are better lovers, and a blog post by Jason Mraz stating veganism has helped his sex life. Plus all of the manly male celebs going vegan can’t hurt the cause.

Russell Brand. Even if he does wear more makeup than I do...

 

Joaquin Phoenix!

 

Woody Harrelson is man enough to wear purple

My fav furry funny-man, Robin Williams

But it isn’t just sex or fame that’s selling veganism to men. In 2010, Men’s Journal published “The Rise of the Power Vegans,” which showed powerful, influential men in our society who are choosing to ditch meat and dairy for moral, ethical and health reasons. Bill Clinton, anybody?

And of course, we can’t ignore the athletes. The idea of meat-free men as scrawny, pale, waifish guys growing their own wheat grass and wearing  hemp button-downs is quickly displaced when you take a look at some of today’s most impressive vegan athletes.

Ultraman racer Rich Roll

John Lewis, aka the Bad Ass Vegan

This issue got me thinking about what exactly I think a man is, or what a man should be. I don’t think a man can be made by what he does or doesn’t eat and I don’t think a man needs to be vegan to be a man; to get rid of one (meaty) stereotype just to replace it with another wouldn’t be good. But I do think that there are values an ideal man should possess, and these values also happen to be present in many  vegan men. Here is what I have come up with:

A man is…

Confident: He knows who he is and what he wants.

Hard working: He is ambitious. Don’t you remember that ‘98 hit, “Can I Get A” by Jay Z featuring Amil? “Ambition makes me so horny…”

Strong: Here I am talking about what I like to call soft strength; a strength in character and morals, not chest-banging muscle strength. A man with soft strength stands by his beliefs, and hopefully those beliefs are good ones.

Caring: Toward loved ones and the world around him. He is connected and involved in things outside of himself, but at the same time, he takes care of his own needs.
Emotional: Men are people, and people have feelings. To me, a man feels comfortable talking about their feelings. It doesn’t need to happen ad nauseum, but it does need to happen.

There are many different types of men. But I do think that many vegans (both male and female) choose the lifestyle because they are compassionate and in touch with the world outside of themselves. They can think beyond how good a steak might taste and how their dietary choices will affect the world around them.

Their morals and character are strong, they are caring and they aren’t afraid to show it. Unfortunately, this does not include all vegans. I have met some pretty self-centered, arrogant and elitist vegans. And, again, I am not saying that meat eating men can’t be the above (my boyfriend eats meat, remember?).  But I am happy to see the stereotype that “real men” eat meat is dissolving, and I am excited to see more vegan men sprouting up. Well done, VegNews!

Have you read the VegNews man issue? Who is your fav vegan guy? What is a man, to you? I would love both male and female takes on this.

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Pretty Kristin in my kitchen with our fav magazine!

I seem to have “I like connecting with people on the internet” ingrained somewhere in my soul. I also seem to have “I want to talk about fellatio” and “I like men with mommy issues” written on my forehead, but those are stories for different days.

A while back, I interviewed Kristin LaJeunesse, the founder of the vegan wedding portal RosePedals, for iEatGrass.com. Kristin also happens to be the wanderlusting vegan foodie behind WTFVegan Food, or Will Travel for Vegan Food, the Kick Starter funded food project she set out on a few months back with the goal to sample as many vegan eateries as possible in an epic cross country trip.

After our September interview, I told Kristin to let me know when her trip takes her through Connecticut so that we could meet up for some grub. I also extended my futon. (Sorry, Dad.) Flash forward 6 months and voila! Kristin, and her awesome van Gertrude aka Gertie, pulled into my driveway to stay for a few days. I told my room-mates we “met on the vegan food circuit,” a half-truth that would save me from being judged for inviting a complete stranger into my living room. Enter couch surfing, vegan style! Cruelty-free couch surfing? I smell a new niche market!

Kristin crashed on my heinous baby-pink futon for two nights, where she fell in love with my cat, Zucchini, and chatted with me about life, love and her experiences following her passion for food across the country.

Here is an interview, which I sprung on her at 8 am Wednesday morning before her and Gertie rolled onto their next destination—Long Island. What a good sport she is!

Kristin and me at my fav coffee shop, Las Vetas Lounge


ST: If you could think of three words to describe your trip, what would they be?

KL: Exciting, entertaining and terrifying.

What is the best part about being on the road?
Feeling empowered. Traveling as a woman, there are certain assumptions about safety that are made. I love making my own decisions about where to go, and when to go, without having to take anything else into consideration. The opportunity for self exploration is amazing.

What is the hardest part?
Pushing myself to reach out to people I don’t know, and going outside my comfort zone, especially when looking for places to stay. But it has resulted in some great new friendships, and so far I haven’t had any negative experiences.

What has been your favorite city so far?
Portland, Maine. This is where I started and I actually revisited it recently.

What about your most memorable meal?
Definitely the chocolate ganache at Blossom. I had a mini-orgasm while eating it.

You’re a hopeless romantic, right? Your trip smells like the making of a Julia Roberts rom-com. Do you think you might meet someone special on your voyage?
Totally. I don’t have any set expectations but knowing the nature of the journey, I am completely open to it. I am excited to meet new people, even if they end up just being friends.

Tomorrow on my column, The Lusty Vegan, at iEatGrass.com, I will be talking about compatibility, and sharing a bit of the conversation Kristin and I had on finding and dating other vegans.

Don’t forget to check in with Kristin at WTFVeganfood, and RosePedals!

Kristin made me a montage of me and Zucchini!

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Dear Adriana Lima, thank you for making me care about football.

You can always tell how busy I am when I haven’t posted any new food or sex fun on here in a few days. This last week has been slamming me hard, with new projects at work, assignments that need attention  and fun events to attend.  On Super Bowl Sunday my buddy and bossman over at the vegan culture portal  iEatGrass.com, super-chef Ayinde Howell, threw an awesome pop-up event in Brooklyn at The West. Ayinde’s vegan pop-up restaurant brand, Wildflower, has been featured all over, from VegNews to Grub Street. We had a great time on Sunday feeding vegans and football fans alike. Somewhere around 40 people showed up (we got the word out via NYC Vegan EatUP) and the menu included barbeque seitan sammies with ranch coleslaw, loaded quinoa nachos, pizza bagel sliders, his famous Mac N Yease ( triple gasm!) and more. People no joke showed up with Tupperware begging to take left-over Mac N Yease home–it’s that good.

Behind the scenes in the Wildflower Super Bowl Kitchen!

While I could care less about sports, I was happy the Giants won if only because I found myself in Grand Central at midnight, and being surrounded by New Yorkers when their team just lost would have been more terrifying than being tied to a chair in Times Square during the zombie apocalypse.  If you have never checked out iEatGrass, you should! This month marks its 2 year anniversary, which is exciting. While you’re over there, be sure to poke around  my column, The Lusty Vegan. Or don’t.

The first course! BBQ Seitan Sammy. Yeah. I ate that.

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Thanks, FoodDay.org !

Today is national food day. Occasionally my co-worker, Nick (oh hey, Nick!) and I talk about how exactly one goes about declaring a national day. How do you do it? Do you need to get it approved? Is it someone’s job to approve the national days, or can you do it at your leisure? If so, it could be a disgustingly terrible way to hit on the opposite sex and make them feel overall uncomfortable. “Did you know it’s national Oral Sex day? There’s only a few hours left ’til midnight, baby…” ANYWAY, on national coffee day I indulged in 3 cups of extra dark Columbian. Actually, I do that everyday. And today is national food day, but so far I haven’t really eaten anything different. I will, however, make you this nice little list of my top 5 favorite foods, because I know you care.  

1. Avocados—Full of healthy fats and potassium, I smear avocado on toast, eat them with a spoon, and make copious amounts of guacamole.

2. Hummus—Hummus is a food group for me. I probably eat it every day. I make my own because—like someone with a heroin problem—my addiction can get expensive.

3. Sweet potatoes—Sweet potato kale soup, baked sweet potato, sweet potato fries, stuffed sweet potato, sweet potato curry. Sweet potatoes are to me what shrimp is to Bubba. (If you don’t understand that reference, we will never be friends.)  Sometimes I wonder why my palms aren’t orange.

4. Barbeque sauce—This isn’t a food, you might be saying! Oh, but it is. I like to make my own when I am feeling productive, and I put it on everything—tofu, tempeh, veggies, and all of the things listed above (BBQ hummus, what!?!). Sometimes if I am real hungry and have already spent my allotted grocery money, you will find me eating my version of a poor college student’s Ramen: quinoa with barbecue sauce. Yep. Nasty.

5. Anything that comes out of a blender. I am a smoothie freak, a green juice freak, a soup-in-a-blender freak. I chipped my glass blender a few weeks ago, sprinkling shards of glass into my pumpkin smoothie, and I nearly died. I think I texted about 4 of my favorite epicureans about the tragedy, Tweeted about it, and called my mother to whine (and drop hints I want a nicer blender for Christmahannukah…).

Today, to celebrate national food day (to me, every day is national food day) I made a  Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana “milk” shake with the So Delicious Chocolate PB “ice cream” flavor. (The ice cream was compliments of VegNews who sent me a complimentary coupon for spreading the vegan love and helping them with distribution via the VegNews Street Team. Thanks, VegNews!)

Ingredients:
1 ripe banana, frozen
2 (big!) scoops So Delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Dessert
2 Tbsp Non-Dairy milk (I used soy this time, I also like almond and coconut)

Put the banana, ice cream and milk into a blender. Turn it on, pulse a few times—running it too much will make it very thin, and you want it nice and thick!—and pour into a glass! Enjoy while on lunch break while you serenade your kitten with Milkshake by Kelis. Or not.

In other vegan news, Russell Brand is now a vegan!?! Say what!? Another reason for me to want to slather him in sticky sweet foodstuffs and lick it off his skinny British body. Don’t worry Katy P, you can join too; there’s nothing crowded about a party of three in my opinion.

Oh Russell, I wish I was your pleather pants

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I ate it before I could take a photo..story of my life..

I love sweets—especially when they are free! Recently, I became a member of the VegNews Street Team (oh hey, VegNews!)—a group spreading vegan awareness by distributing issues of VegNews around to local venues, groups, stores and restaurants. Anything to spread some vegany goodness. Anyways to kick off the team, VegNews sent me a care package and in it was this delicious vegan chocolatey nougat bar called a Buccaneer bar.

Super delicious and covered in a rice-milk chocolate coating, it reminded me of a Three Musketeers (coincidental names? I think not!). It was all I could do not to inhale it in one mouthful. Normally I try to avoid processed foods, and this bar—while delicious—is definitely a special treat. Dessert at my desk. Glad they didn’t send me a case, because I may have been tempted to eat the whole thing in one sitting and then would have a serious vegan tummy ache. But really, these bars are the shit.  

These sweet treats are made by Go Max, Go Foods LLC, and I poked around on their site and saw they make a mock Almond Moy bar called a Mahalo. I nearly peed myself. I must find one, asap.

Thanks VegNews and  Go Max, Go Foods , for the yummy bar! Unfortunately more me, the name of it spurred this random memory of a line from the movie Casper (mmmm 14 year old Devon Sawa) and so now I have been wandering around my  office going Buccaneers and buried gold. Whipstaff doth a treasure hold.. Anyone else remember this? No? Just me?

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