Saturday, October 11, 2008

So, by now you may be wondering... wtf is VeganMoFo?

Ah yes, VeganMoFo. Perhaps I should have explained this earlier. You see, as vegans we have a deity that we worship on feast days, offer thanks to in the form of pressed tofu and peanut butter (not together, crazy), and so forth. And of course he really loves it, as all deities do, when we include him in our blog posts. His official name is the Great Pumpkin, and he is one bad (vegan) motha(shutyomouth!) In other words, a VeganMoFo. It's a nickname of sorts, an affectionate way to refer to the great one, kind of like how some Christians refer to JC with whom they're like totally BFF. October is his main feast month, so we spend all of it writing as many blog posts about him as possible to get into his good graces. And then, on Halloween, we go to pumpkin patches the world over to wait for our VeganMoFo to appear, in the hopes that he'll shower us with candy and the perfect recipe for vegan creme brulee...

Wait, no, just kidding.

VeganMoFo is the Vegan Month of Food. The idea is to spend the month, this year October, writing pretty frequently about, well, vegan food. It's (loosely) based on on NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. The goals are a bit divergent though; NaNoWriMo has a very specific ideal of having each participant complete a 50,000 word/175 page novel beginning no earlier than November 1st and finishing no later than midnight on the 31st. VeganMoFo... thinks it would be pretty cool if you get up five posts a week about food stuff. And maybe that's why I'm feeling a little lost.

See, I blog about food anyway. Now, I get the idealist merit in it. This makes hundreds of people put out thousands of blog posts with recipes, restaurant reviews, anecdotes, and whatever else out into the world, thus vastly increasing the amount of available information about everyday vegan existence. But. But. But.

Who is it that's reading these blogs? As far as I can tell, about 99% of the time, it's other vegans. And sure, we need to support each other and share ideas and this is one way to do it. But it's also preaching to the choir, as it were... not that we're necessarily preaching, but vegans reading vegan blogs is a different thing than bringing new thoughts to a different audience. And really, what non-vegan is spending his time lately doing google blog searches for "veganmofo"?

It also feels a bit like a popularity contest, and (s)he with the coolest blog wins. This, of course, is because it's just a bunch of vegans reading each other's blogs. There's about a 70% chance that this feeling is just my inferiority complex rearing its ugly head, but no one can deny that there are veganer-than-thous in our little community, reading blogs and going, "ugh, that is totally not the best way to press tofu. I am such a way better vegan than she is."

I'm not just here to bitch though. I'm here to propose. I think that maybe we could all decide to create something a bit more tangible and definite than blog posts. Something, like, perhaps, zines, which anyone can make who has access to a pen, paper, and a photocopier. Maybe we could all spend an entire month creating vegan zines. We could make them individually, or people could team up and each contribute one or two or five pages. Cooking zines, zines about raising vegan children, zines about the best brands of vegan shoes and sweaters and coats, zines about how to find vegan food while on road trips or in towns that seem completely carnivorous, zines about the quest for the perfect vegan cake - you name it.

And at the end of the month we could have zine release parties or even full-on zine fests, all across the world, where we'd serve vegan cupcakes and other such delicacies, and meet other people who've spent the month writing vegan zines. And this part is important: our celebrations would be held in places where non-vegans go, like coffee shops and independent bookstores and college campuses. And people who have never considered veganism might be inspired by our enthusiasm. And pick up copies of our zines. And maybe, just maybe, have their worldviews and lives changed forever.

Just imagine it: events taking place all over the world all at the same time where vegans are meeting each other, exchanging ideas, creating a stronger community, and educating and inspiring the omni population simultaneously. It's just an idea, a modest proposal... if you don't like it maybe we could consider eating babies - but, you know, only the poor ones. (Sorry, just making sure you're still paying attention.)

So will I stop writing my VeganMoFo posts? Probably not, though I don't think anyone is reading them / seeking them out any more. It seems that my visitors are back to the old norms, coming through my profile or my other blogs, or through Yeah, That Vegan Shit. I like to finish what I start, even if I lose sight of why I started it in the first place. If anyone is interested in this zine idea, let's talk - I'm serious! And if anyone would like to point out merits of this blogging project that I'm missing, please do.

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