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Vegan Food, Family & Travel

Saying Good Bye to The XXX of XXXXXX Project… We hardly knew ye…

MeetTheShannonsGoodBYESo Friday, a few hours after posting what we felt was very mildly-worded praise for an animal rights victory, we received an email with an attached pdf letter from someone representing The XXX of XXXXX asking that we no longer use their name on our blog, because they felt they needed to “protect their brand.”

Admittedly, we were initially a little disappointed by this. I spent several months researching the history behind the initial manuscript and the woman who wrote it, the various different editions that have come after it, and brainstorming our own original recipes using recipes from the book as inspiration – and of course we’d announced this latest project on our blog. We had a special Mother’s Day post and recipe lined up to celebrate the mother-daughter relationship behind the book, and another post next week for Easter about how the woman who wrote this book reinvented herself later in life, which is pretty cool. We also had hopes that we could continue to build a good, strong relationship with a brand aimed at omnivores while showing them the importance of the “vegan market” – like we’d done with Betty Crocker. But then about five minutes later, we had this other feeling come on… RELEIF!

See, it wasn’t that we had any problems with the XXX of XXXXXX people prior to this, or that the books themselves aren’t perfectly fine. But they’re just that… fine. They’re a great resource for figuring out how to cook almost any ingredient, and the conversational tone is cheerful and helpful, but as many of you have already figured out from the emails we’ve gotten… we were struggling to veganize these recipes in interesting ways. All the recipes we’d posted were obviously our own, but they were hybrids of multiple recipes from the book with our own spin – leaving the connection to the XXX of XXXXXX pretty thin. Every one “went off the reservation into new territory,” as one reader put it in an email. In fact as many of you pointed out, one recipe we originally credited as being part of the project was described in the post as actually being inspired by a photo in a Martha Stewart magazine.

Now some of you may think we’re mad about this, or maybe you’ll be mad about this – but we’re not and we hope you won’t be either. See, after starting this blog and writing Betty, I’ve started to see things a little differently. Putting something out into the world you care about is hard and scary. I’d like to think the big company behind XXX of XXXXXX cares about their books – so if they think having a connection with an animal rights friendly blog would hurt their brand, well, I don’t agree but I will respect their wishes. In the same way I would hope someone would respect mine if I asked them to not connect Betty Goes Vegan with something I didn’t believe in. That’s what nice people do right? The Golden Rule or something.

So it’s with a not that heavy heart at all that we bid farewell to this project. We hope that the fact we even started it will let the powers that be at that XXX of XXXXX company know that there is a viable vegan market out there that’s interested in seeing what they can offer, and we hope that they’re not too insulted or disappointed that we didn’t fight, offer money, or negotiate to keep this project alive.

Now off to the next project…

P.S. I know we haven’t said this in awhile but: Thank you Betty Crocker for your public support of progressive issues like gay marriage and one little ol’ vegan blog who just wanted to prove that anything could be vegan. (Yes – We’re talking about us.) We love you a lot.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Saying Good Bye to The XXX of XXXXXX Project… We hardly knew ye…”

  • I can see the issue with purporting to veganize Joy of Cooking Vegan. I don’t see a problem with the title, since you can’t copywright a title. And of course the “Joy of” has been used by others, e.g. “Joy of Vegan Baking.” Perhaps you can work with the title, maybe just calling it “Joy of Vegan,” Or “Vegan Joy,” with a (preferably attorney drafted) disclaimer that your book is not affiliated. If you are emphasizing updating and veganizing, maybe something like: Veganize This and That Title is a lot less important than your wonderful recipes. I’m thinking of trying to take your cake a step further and make it kosher for pesach!!

    • Our Facebook page is called Vegan Foods = Joy! so that might be a title someday but right now we’re just trying to be more like Dory in Finding Nemo… Just keep swimming right?

  • Thanks for taking on this project! You have balls! It is obvious at any time that big corporate Carnist America is going to shut you down. US ethical peaceful vegans account for less than 1% of the planet’s population. Don’t stop now. We need you. Kind wishes from ethical vegans everywhere and the billions of non-human sentient beings who can not speak for themselves!!! We love you!

  • Y’all are such better people than me!! Haha. I don’t think I’d handle that like a grown-up at all. But y’all are, and that’s awesome. I’d be all like, “F the XXX of XXXX.” But that’s not fair. I appreciate y’all’s ability to see their side too.

  • I know it must be disappointing to experience a big roadblock like that but I’m confident that your next project will be even better! Kudos for continuing to bring compassion and kindness to the world of cooking. I guess not everyone can understand progress and inclusion but that’s their loss.

  • Well…you two are a class act if I’ve ever seen one!!!! However, from a purely selfish perspective….I’m very, very bummed cuz I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Betty Goes Vegan!!!!! Too bad some folks are so shortsighted!!!! Oh well, their loss!!! Keep on keepin’ on!!!! And thank you for all you do!!!!

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