Quite a number of animal advocates look down disdainfully at vegans who spend their time primarily cooking and baking. For example, Erik Marcus at Vegan.com wrote:
“We all want a vegan world, but only a tiny handful of us have realized the enormous personal power we have in bringing this world closer. The rest of us are off baking brownies.”
Elsewhere I’ve seen the brownie-bakers referred to as “inactivists” or worse.
Now, there’s a little bit of truth to the criticism. If ALL you’re doing is baking vegan brownies, then you’re not doing a whole lot for the animals. You have to share those brownies with nonvegans, share the recipes, talk about vegan baking, or do some of the other things I’ll list below in a second.
But even if ALL you’re doing is baking vegan brownies, that’s still a TON better than what most people are doing for animals. Most people are buying or baking nonvegan brownies. Most people are buying or cooking animal flesh, meat that comes from animals who have been treated like meat before they were slaughtered!
So don’t feel bad if your form of animal activism is culinary-style, just try to make the most of it. How do you turn baking vegan brownies into real animal advocacy? Here are some suggestions:
- Share your vegan cooking with friends, family, coworkers, or even strangers. Bake vegan cupcakes for your mom’s birthday. Make veggie deli slice sandwiches for a picnic with friends. Bring your vegan food to work or donate some to a homeless shelter. You could also have a “feed in” where you give away free vegan food. (Get funding from VegFund).
- Sell your vegan baked goods. Have a bake sale and raise money for your favorite charity. Vegan bake sales raised over $25,000 for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. (link)
- Show off your tasty vegan food by posting pictures of it on Flickr, Facebook, and other places where nonvegans and see for themselves what vegans eat. You’ll help educate the public about vegan food. (As an added bonus, if you can include the recipe in your picture description, that’s great, too. People LOVE recipes!)
- Share your experiences. You can start a blog about vegan cooking and share your recipes or even just your favorite cookbooks. Blog about how your boyfriend loves a certain recipe or about how it took you three tries but finally you found the perfect vegan pizza dough recipe. Whatever, just share your vegan cooking experiences so others can learn.
- Teach a vegan cooking class. Make it a one-time class held out of your home or organize a 6-week course with the local community college, it’s up to you. The point is simple: share your knowledge.
- Make a cookbook. If you do a lot of cooking and you’ve come up with some of your own recipes, why not gather them together into a cookbook? You can sell it without any startup cost if you use an on-demand publisher or you can find a publisher who wants to print up your vegan cookbook. Either way, there’s plenty of room for more vegan cookbooks. The sky is the limit on this one!
So what are you waiting for? Put that oven mitt to good use!