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Book Review: Vodka Is Vegan

I usually try to come up with a lead in that might draw you in but I’m having a weird time trying to come up with one here. You see, the Vegan Bros are the epitome of the quick lead in type of stuff so how do you really establish something comparable? Their tongues are sharp and the snarky satirical innuendos are either cheered or jeered by the vegan community. You love them or hate them and you’ve been hearing about this book for what seems like an eternity. So let’s get into it.

Matt and Phil, the Vegan Bros, have not always been the eccentric characters they now portray and they sure as heck have not always been vegan. Phil made the switch first and went headfirst into activism working with Mercy For Animals and doing activist tours. Matt on the other hand, was a massively out of shape carnivore who was irritated by Phil’s activism. The book goes into that transition and just how it worked out for him.

Getting down to it, the book is not ground breaking but it is as real as it gets and is rooted in the belief that they have the answers and the know how to help the world turn vegan; “vegan world domination” as they call it. To me, that is a valiant effort regardless of whether or not you think they have the answers. And, while I think that maybe they are trying to hard and at times and that the book feels forced, they speak to an audience that maybe wouldn’t be willing to listen to the hippie vegan approach or the straight edge/ hardcore kid method.

We all hear the same thing when we are in a group of people. “Where do you get your protein?” “Plants have feelings too.” Oh and there’s the everlasting “bacon though.” The Vegan Bros talk about situations like that and what works for them when they encounter people like that. Their opinion on honey is polarizing to some. They’ve been booed in the past for their small steps approach to veganism, and the argument about honey is sometimes the catalyst. “Vodka Is Vegan” talks quite a bit about that, the small steps, less offensive approach. I agree with a good amount of it, it doesn’t help to be combative. It doesn’t help to always throw out the fact you are vegan; your friends and family already know, leave it alone.

To be honest though, the foul talk stuff is growing old. Thug Kitchen did it as did many others. I don’t find the language makes the book, or their methodology, any more approachable. I mean, sure I like to toss out a “shit” and a “fuck this” every now and again, but it’s more for color commentary. I feel like it is a worn out shtick and wish they would try to be more convincing rather than amusing. But that’s me, maybe the approach works for someone else and to be honest, if it means that person is now vegan than keep going; good on ya!

They do have their own guide in the chapter “Badass Homework” which has a lot of valuable info for a person interested in making the transition. Again, I feel like it’s directed toward a certain demographic as I don’t see my mom finding their approach helpful to her. For those younger folks out there though, the millennials who snicker at every cuss word or silly inference to some movie character, the approach is probably perfect.

After reading this review back I feel like maybe it sounds like I’m ripping the book and I’m trying not to make it seem like that. Listen, the book is good. It’s not bogged down with overly technical crap or scholarly diatribes; it’s a quick read. There is a ton of value here not only learning from what has worked for them, but there are facts littered throughout that could help a newb vegan diffuse situations with fact rather than fiction. Those fun facts are interesting and always positive.

I enjoyed reading the book and look forward to seeing what these guys do in the future. I have been following them for a while now and am curious just how far they can go with the system they’ve set in place for themselves. They promise a future that is vegan, and are manifesting it like a “mofo.” Let’s hope that works for them, for us and for the animals.

Check out their site at http://www.veganbros.com and order the book today!

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