Fat Gay Vegan is a book that is aimed at helping you make the transition to becoming vegan, or to help with a new vegan’s early days. I am not a vegan, and I’m not looking to become one right now, but I am interested in it enough to want to read this!
Where the book really shines is where the idea of being vegan is extended to include being kind to humans and animals in all aspects of your life. Here making sure you live a generally inclusive, kind, helpful existence is explored. An analysis of where the vegan community itself is sexist, ableist, homophobic, etc is really fascinating. I wish more people had the same awareness of all these issues as Sean O’Callaghan shows he does in Fat Gay Vegan.
Become an expert letter and email writing champion in order to tell vegan food companies that oppressive language and images have no place in advertising to our community. Use social media to make them aware of the fact that you do not appreciate or accept the use of sexism, body shaming, toxic masculinity and white exceptionalism as tools to sell veganism as a concept or vegan products to the world. It perpetuates harmful forces that make people feel bad about who they are while cementing long entrenched power imbalances that favour very few.
These ideas are explored within the vegan community, and also beyond it.
As you can probably tell from the title, O’Callaghan is himself the fat gay vegan. His personal history is covered in Fat Gay Vegan – growing up as a gay man in Australia, and the associated difficulties he faced. Becoming a teacher, and blogging under the name fat gay vegan, which ultimately led to this book. As well as all this, obviously the book also covers different aspects of veganism. I think it is neatly summed up in the quote from the conclusion of:
No matter how much we do, we can always do more and we can always do better.
There are recipes at the end of each chapter, but this is definitely not a cook book!