why i have trust issues with vegans

Recently(ish), I wrote about how primarily animal-centered activists and  primarily human-centered activists can and should be working together towards a future without oppression, violence, or systemic hierarchies and dichotomies. Despite the rampant racism, classism, and sexism in mainstream animal rights activism, I think that the principles underlying racial/gender/economic justice movements are present in some food justice and animal rights movements, and that those coalitions should be expanded.

I still believe that, but I want to provide a (semi-)topical example of someone who makes that kind of coalition-building difficult.  Casey Affleck, Oscar winner, (alleged) sexual harasser and assaulter, and vegan/animal rights activist, represents a lot of the problems with mainstream animal rights activism and food-based social movements.  It’s very hard for anti-racist and feminist activists to be open to food-based social movements that are truly progressive and radical when Casey Affleck and others like him continue to be the most public faces of veganism and animal rights activism.  Casey makes this particularly difficult, both because his activism is simplistic and oppressive and because of the interpersonal violence he himself has perpetrated. Continue reading why i have trust issues with vegans

avocado tahini toast

This recipe was inspired by an avocado toast I had when I last went home to Ann Arbor. I got potato tacos (which, incidentally, were good as hell) and a side of avocado toast with tahini and cucumbers, which turned out to be an absolute monster. The bread was so thick, it was too big to fit in my mouth vertically. I was uncomfortably full after the meal, but I couldn’t get that avocado toast out of my head… It was love at first bite! (Has anyone thought of that joke before? Highly doubt it!) The nuttiness of the tahini complemented the subtle sweetness of the avocado, and the creamy textures of the tahini and avocado were interrupted perfectly by the crunch of the cucumbers. The only thing I wished for was some heat, so I added some red pepper flakes and cayenne to my version. This is perfect brunch food because it doesn’t take you to a painfully full place (unless you also eat it with a full plate of tacos) but it does keep you full until din din. Try not to get too big of a head for making yourself fancy avocado toast though (ha ha!).

The picture here is an earlier version of the toast in which I just sliced the avocado instead of mashing it; I also ate half before I remembered I wanted to take a pic. Anyway, not that important. This recipe is extremely flexible, so live your dreams.  And if anyone is in Ann Arbor looking for a hawt bite, check out Avalon Café and Kitchen! Their food is so good—I highly recommend their potato tacos, avocado toast, and shakshuka. Continue reading avocado tahini toast

recipe test: shiitake bacon

Recently, I made a soup that called for small chunks of ham. Instead of ham, I decided to try making shiitake bacon to top it. I’d had it at restaurants, and it’s incredibly good: smoky, crispy, caramelized, and salty, it makes an effective and delicious vegan vehicle for umami.  It’s also truly simple and quick to make!

No, it does not taste exactly like bacon, but it can replicate some of the key things that bacon brings to a dish: the crispy meaty texture, the smokiness, the saltiness, and the umami-ness. I chose to use it to replace the small amount of ham because it was comparable in size and texture; a larger ham hock, for example, would also give you some gelatin from the bones, so this would not be a good replacement for a larger, meatier meat.

This was was a great complement for my tangy, creamy soup (I will post that recipe soon!), and would be great on a salad, on sandwiches, mixed with roasted veggies like brussel sprouts, or in an omelette/scramble-type dish. And probably in a lot of other things too! It’s so yummy!  Continue reading recipe test: shiitake bacon

fuck a fake leftist

Thanks to Cosmo’s prolific readership, many of us may have already read at least one analysis of the two progressive white men who recently commented on the politics of abortion and reproductive justice, arguing that, to win elections, Democrats should back off on abortion to appeal to segments of the population that typically vote Republican. One of these men was a professor of theology* at Boston College (and is from Ireland, a notoriously anti-abortion nation); the other was Bernie Sanders (who is from America, also a notoriously anti-abortion nation) (LOL!).

But these are just a couple of misguided left wing white guys! It doesn’t mean there’s a deeper problem.

Sike!!!! Racism and sexism have been problems in leftist movements led by white men since modern leftist movements have existed.  Leftist movements were supposed to be spaces that were supposed to be more progressive than the “real world.” Unfortunately, it turned out to be impossible to leave the real world behind, especially when the power structures of that world were recreated within the movements, with white men leading and expecting people of color and women to do caring labor without credit. Identity politics were created in response to the oppression that existed within those movements.
Continue reading fuck a fake leftist