Cakes ‘n’ Treats update

The owner of Camden vegan bakery Cakes ‘n’ Treats, along with two other people, has been arrested following a violent altercation outside the store.

ITV reports the store owner was arrested for obstructing police while her boyfriend was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon.

Full story here.

Posted in London can you wait? | Tagged | Leave a comment

Beyond veganism

Maybe you saw the homophobic tweet posted to the Beyond Meat Twitter account sometime over the last 48 hours. I found it very upsetting and have reproduced it below for the sake of this post.

homo tweet

 

(Above used with permission of Twitter user)

I found it shocking, upsetting and a complete curveball to see something so blatantly homophobic posted on a social media account of one of the biggest (the biggest?) new vegan companies on the planet.

The response from Beyond Meat was suitably swift and full of emotion. The company worked quickly and decisively to rectify the situation best they could, reaching out to every single person who expressed concern with a response similar to the one they sent me.

bymt responseUnlike many company apologies due to social media scandals, I personally take the Beyond Meat response and apology to be sincere and heartfelt. If they are guilty of anything, I believe it is outsourcing or not keeping a tight enough hold on their social media.

They are responsible for the above situation. There is no getting around that, but it does appear to me they are attempting to take responsibility for a situation that upset countless people and could have caused irreparable damage to their brand.

Even though this homophobic tweet took me by surprise, I have noticed a pattern in the Beyond Meat Twitter timeline that highlighted that maybe their best person wasn’t on the job.

If you are working with or on behalf of a vegan company, you need to know your stuff. Obviously not as damaging as the homophobic tweet, but in my opinion still embarrassing, was the Twitter exchange with celebrated activist and writer Carol J. Adams.

Adams, who is a longstanding legend to many in the vegan community and beyond, was congratulated by the Beyond Meat Twitter account on what it perceived to be her recent decision to switch to a vegan diet and was rewarded with a voucher for a free product.

Beyond Meat blunder

Adams clearly took the mistake in good-humoured stride and thanked the company for their generosity. I include this exchange here to show how easy it is for a company to lose credibility within its core customers by employing people to be a public voice who are not in touch with its core ethics or audience.

Hopefully this latest Twitter storm will have shown Beyond Meat how crucial it is to employ trustworthy, aware, compassionate and progressive people to be their voice of social media.

SO, that’s the end of that chapter. Let’s move on.

I was offended by the Beyond Meat tweet so I publicly reached out to them about the content of the tweet. They responded in a way that made me feel heard and understood. This transparent process is how it should be. Beyond Meat took responsibility for the situation and didn’t once try to diminish the severity of the situation. They didn’t play the ‘but we are vegan so we are nice’ card for a moment.

But others did.

Following on from my initial tweet about the homophobic message, I received a number of responses telling me it was no big deal or how wonderful Beyond Meat are to animals. Take for instance this message sent to me from one of the founders of vegan restaurant chain Veggie Grill.

veggie grill defense

 

(Please note: this message seems to have more parts but they have been deleted by the sender)

Veggie Grill want to give a character reference for the founder of Beyond Meat. Good for them. I understand. But telling me Ethan is a friend to animals as a response to my concern of a homophobic tweet makes me feel belittled and offended.

My reaction to a homophobic tweet has nothing to do with how compassionate to animals Ethan of Beyond Meat is or is not. If he was not in charge of a groundbreaking vegan company, would the tweet from his company be suddenly more offensive?

I think Ethan is doing a fine job of tackling this issue and such apologetic messages from his supporters appear to be using his veganism as a way to negate the impact of the original offensive tweet. I think he would be best left to fight his own battles.

Veganism does not stand alone. There are many issues and social problems that intersect. When someone calls out a vegan for being sexist, homophobic or racist it is extremely unhelpful to use veganism as a get out of jail free card or a way to lessen the blow.

As a shining example of this, I leave you with a message sent to me by somebody running the PETA UK Twitter account. I raised a concern publicly that I found a lot of their campaigns to be sexist and damaging to society.

The response I got was a classic example of trying to shut a concerned person down by playing the compassionate vegan card, except this time they also told me I was not helping animals by targeting their sexism.

Vegan companies can and should take responsibility for non-inclusive language and actions, no matter how many animals they have saved.

peta dm

 

Posted in Haus of FGV, Vegan | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Learn to boss

We all know about the fabulous Made in Hackney, right? This community-concerned kitchen is an invaluable source of information about plant based eating for local residents via a whole host of workshops and classes.

The centre offers discounted courses to people experiencing financial hardship. These courses are in part made possible by some of the full-priced classes hosted by Made in Hackney. This is a great way of making sure everyone has access to information about vegan food, no matter what their economic status.

One of these full price classes is a weekend long, hands on experience for people looking to start their own small food company. It sounds thorough and extremely valuable.

The Making to Sell Intensive Weekender will cover:

  • Becoming an ethical small scale producer
  • Product presentation
  • Branding
  • Securing retailers
  • Sourcing local/ethical ingredients
  • The legal bits

This sounds like a perfect course for someone looking to start or expand a vegan home food business or market stall.

Taking place on June 14 and 15, the cost for the weekend is £65 (£52 Concession) including a free organic lunch.

All the information about the course and how to book can be found by clicking here.

Go get schooled and start some vegan businesses, London. We need you!

Posted in London can you wait?, Vegan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to: FGV popcorn

A few days a go I posted some photos on my Instagram account of the best popcorn I have ever made. It garnered such a positive response online (and then again when I served it at London Vegan Potluck) that I have been compelled to share my secrets with you.

Wanna eat popcorn like a fat, gay vegan? Read on. Continue reading

Posted in FGVagram, Haus of FGV, Vegan | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Say goodbye to the Tart

I’m not sure how much more I can take of my favourite vegan food suppliers disappearing or retreating from public life. If I start losing weight, you will know who to blame. Come on vegan food makers, this FGV needs you.

First Saf closed up for good, then The Mighty Fork stopped trading and now I find out one of the best vegan bakers in the city is set to stop trading in Brixton. Continue reading

Posted in I love sugar, London can you wait?, Vegan | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Love Like Hate

London Vegan Beer Fest is rapidly approaching and plans are well underway. Super cool breweries are locked in, the 100% vegan BBQ menu is being devised and early bird tickets are flying out the door.

It is all terribly exciting, I’m sure you will agree. But hold onto your sun hats because that’s not all.

London Vegan Beer Fest is giving you music.

I am thrilled to have just confirmed Australian band Love Like Hate as performers at this year’s event.

Love Like Hate B&W

Brisbane-based (FGV’s hometown!) band Love Like Hate are a duo combining post punk electric guitars with free form piano melodies to create a sound described as dark pop. Currently touring Europe on the release of their single Electric Ships from the upcoming second EP, Heather and Sonja have made special arrangements to be part of the biggest vegan party of the year.

Check out the music video for their fab song Electric Ships below then buy your super cheap London Vegan Beer Fest early bird tickets now.

Beer, food, summer and music. We all win.

Follow Love Like Hate on Twitter

Like Love Like Hate on Facebook

Visit Love Like Hate online

Posted in I'm getting drunk for you, London can you wait?, London Vegan Events, Music gets the best of me, Vegan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Donuts, dumplings and hot damn

Enough with the torturous posts about divine food half a world away from where the majority of my readers reside. I will stop teasing.

Well, I will stop after this post. I promise.

I have given you some decidedly convincing reasons why you should visit San Diego. The Southern California city is a gorgeous location bursting with attractions that will keep compassionate people on the delirious side of happy. See the vegan drive thru and the vegan market stall as examples.

And there is more.

Moncai Vegan is exactly what I see when I close my eyes at night. It is like the dream I have where the food is irresistible, the service is lovely and there are vegan donuts in a large glass case. Continue reading

Posted in I love sugar, I'll pay you to cook for me, Taking the long way around, Vegan | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment