Friday, May 1, 2009

Ask and You Shall (Sometimes) Receive

No it wasn't my birthday. A vanilla vegan birthday cake, Whole Foods Market (Chelsea NYC), $26.99 for a 9-inch, and $18.99 for a 6-inch.

We can hand out literature, show graphic videos, and site the UN Report on Livestock's Long Shadow all day long, but at the end of the day, most people still wrongly associate veganism with a life of deprivation. No pizza, no ice cream, no cookies, and just endless nights of steamed broccoli for dinner.

You have to show people you can have your (vegan) cake, eat it too, and it is even better than the non-vegan alternative for our health, the animals, and the Earth.

We share a birthday cake at work once a month. I asked on a whim if they could also provide a small vegan cake. The answer was not only yes, the cake was a hit. Many were eager to try what a "vegan cake" tasted like, some expecting the worst. The verdict: Many said they preferred it and will eat the vegan cake from now on. Score one for the cows and chickens!

Product introductions are a great, and underrated, form of vegan advocacy. My coworkers now see you can still have pizza (just hold the cheese and add healthy veggies), milk (make that soy) and a tasty topping (tofu spread) for our beloved Friday bagels.

Victory is not always guaranteed. I asked the person organizing an annual pancake breakfast I attend if they could offer vegetarian sausages. The first word out of her mouth, which came quite immediately: "No." I actually got a look as if I had three heads. "I didn't even know they existed," she said. I even offered to purchase them myself, but after some thought, she said she would try and get them. The day of the pancake breakfast, the only veg options were canned fruit cocktail, orange juice and coffee/tea. Not a vegetarian sausage in sight. How disappointing! Next year, I'll just buy my own. By the way, pancakes are so easy to veganize. Check out this recipe from

I wish I had a piece of that vegan cake now...

What new vegan product can you introduce your co-workers, friends or family to?

1 comment:

Anarchist Jew said...

i totally agree- the best way to get people into veggeism is just to cook for them or have them try something veggie. it's so annoying and totally wrong when people tell me that being vegan is hard. it's not and it's so much healthier.