plantbasedThe UK monthly magazine ‘Cook Vegan’ is from now on to be known as ‘Plant Based’ and carries the subtitle ‘The Food Revolution’ .

In the editorial to the first issue under the new name (October 2017), assistant editor Blake Roberts writes  “Everything in this magazine is still vegan and we only want to expand and improve upon the content that you’re used to. However, we believe that if we are to make veganism more accessible for all, it is important that everybody feels part of it; under our new title we feel we can encourage seven more people to embrace a plant-based lifestyle”.

In this way he is seeking to reassure readers that this is a magazine that is solely focused on diet, health and recipes. It is still all about cooking, in other words.

But he also raises a more questionable point. Reading between the lines, he is suggesting that the label  ‘vegan’ is problematic in that it is automatically connected to lifestyle choices that go beyond what you keep in your fridge or serve up at mealtimes.

By implication he is saying that a key part of the target audience for the ‘new’ magazine are those who choose to follow a plant-based diet but do so solely for health reasons. These want recipes and nutritional tips so don’t want to risk being confronted by articles about animal rights or environmentalism .

I quite understand why a cooking monthly should want to distinguish itself from a campaigning magazine. I’m not saying that all vegan magazines have to print images from slaughter houses or testing labs to get its message across but to suggest that concerns about animal treatment are not a fundamental part of the lifestyle choice is both disingenuous and plain wrong.


Heather Mills in discrete ‘I am not an angry vegan’  campaigning mode

The problem of the new identity of this magazine is further compounded by an interview and article about “businesswoman, athlete and media personality” Heather Mills who will be writing a column in future issues.

She promises “to share her wealth of nutritional knowledge from 25 years of plant-based eating” and to show the world that this lifestyle can be as cool and hip as she wants everybody to think she is.

One of the pearls of wisdom she shares with readers is that “I know a lot of pain in the arse vegans who are actually so extreme that they are stopping people moving to plant-based foods”. 


The true reasons for becoming vegan.

Whoah there!  This is definitely getting more personal. Is she seriously asking us to believe that there are angry vegans out there who are so extreme and inflexible that they are actually putting people off changing their eating habits!

I can understand that not all vegans want to be out on the streets campaigning but I firmly believe that I am among the vast majority of those following a vegan diet who have made this choice based on three factors :

  1.  It is healthier both physically and psychologically.
  2.  It is a moral and ethical statement; an active way to communicate revulsion towards all aspects of factory farming and animal exploitation.
  3.  Reducing the consumption of meat based products has well documented benefits to the environment and can contribute to reducing world famine.

When I posted a link to Mills’ article on the closed Facebook Group page of  ‘One Billion Vegans’ , one member succinctly commented that “being a vegan is more than what you shove down your cake hole”.