I’ve never had a very high opinion of the foodie movement. To me it’s no great coincidence that foodie (sort of) rhymes with snooty.

Sure, I like food that tastes good. But I can’t help being turned off by an extreme and expensive obsession with luxurious foods in a world where 2 billion people don’t have access to clean water and another billion don’t get enough calories. Who cares if your goat cheese is handcrafted or your guindilla peppers were cooked in the Basque tradition? Shouldn’t we just be happy to have enough?

And, I admit it—I don’t trust most foodies to make ethical decisions about food. Foodie-ism tends to be about pleasure, not making the world a better place. If paté foie gras is on the menu, you can bet it’s at a restaurant catering to foodies. After all, it is foodie guru Anthony Bourdain who said:

“ To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.”

So for a long time, I’ve believed that foodie-ism is antithetical to ethical eating. But a bunch of new vegan cooks and bloggers are changing my mind. They are people who are dedicated to ethical meals that taste exceptional. Fabulous, fresh, well-prepared food that pleases the palate and saves animals—it’s not a bad thing.

While these recipes may not represent everyday cooking for vegans (there are some definite time issues here!) they show the world that dishes containing no animal products can be divinely gourmet and extraordinary. These cooks put an attractive and appealing face on vegan diets, and that is good activism for animals.

Here are just a few of the blogs that are creating a welcome new image for vegan fare. (The suggestions came from some of the wonderful vegan tweeps over at twitter.com. As usual, I don’t know what I would do without them!)


Have Cake, Will Travel

Post Punk Kitchen

Vegan Menu

And, for those who don’t have time to whip up gourmet fare but just want to know where to find it, check out veggiething for ideas about some of the best vegan foods on restaurant menus.