Raggedy Anarchy’s Guide to Vegan Baking and the Universe (1989? Carmichael, CA)
Consumer culture is rampant in its appropriation and assimilation of radical ideas, taking things that were once revolutionary (including the word “revolutionary” itself!) and turning them into products to be purchased or new forms of advertising. DIY Skater culture became a vehicle for hocking Mountain Dew, Tylenol, and Nike shoes, hardcore music influenced the crappy, commercial “now I’m singing, now I’m yelling” garbage heard on the radio today, and in a world where sorority girls have knuckle tattoos and think Discharge is a clothing brand, can punk still be a threat? These subcultures may have never truly threatened the system, but at one time they provided a safe space from it, and in that space some truly liberatory ideas flourished.
If you have grown up in a world where vegan cookies are sold at supermarkets and every animal free product imaginable can be bought on the internet, veganism might just seem to be one more compartment in the consumerist toolbox. But there was a time when this wasn’t so. In the early days of veganism you had to be seditious to even consider such a thing. It was unheard of, and given cultural resistance to the changing of food choices, it was also rebellious. While many health oriented and religious groups had advocated an animal free diet, animal rights oriented veganism was uncharted territory. (And at times unwelcome in the animal rights community! Many New Zealand anti-vivisection societies ran newsletter articles in the late 70’s and early 80’s warning of possible “infiltration” efforts by vegans!) On it’s path to mainstream acceptance, the first pioneering steps were taken very often by punks, hardcore kids, and others existing on the fringes.
Because being a vegan was such a new concept at the time, people simply did not know how to do it. Recipes and helpful hints began spreading through album liner notes, self published cook-zines, and the network of all ages venues that began springing up in the late 1970s. Making veganism accessible to the young and poor brought animal rights into communities that were already resistant to cultural norms, and soon animal liberation joined the roster of causes tattooed on the hearts of misfits everywhere. Diets were changed, but more importantly, action was taken. For proof we present Raggedy Anarchy, an amazing cook-zine that was hugely influential on the likes of Isa Moskowitz and others, written by a young punk and hunt saboteur from California.
Raggedy Anarchy will help you make delicious cakes, but it will also spark your desire to subvert the omnicidal paradigm! Sometimes funny, sometimes introspective, and always inspiring, we post this classic in the hopes of making Snacktivism a threat again and convincing our readers to “bake for themselves what tomorrow never brings!”
EAT ME (1997-1998 New York, NY USA.)
Before the term snacktivist became derogatory, several amazing publications such as Soy Not Oi and Raggedy Anarchy promoted veganism and protest alongside recipes for tasty food. One much more obscure publication, EAT ME, was written by best selling vegan cookbook author Isa Moskowitz. Although the content doesn’t match the focus of most of our site, there is certainly a fun archival nerd collector value to seeing one of the most prominent faces of veganism during her radical youth. And yes, each issue contains a recipe. We are happy to have a new introduction to these newsletters from Isa herself.
“I made these as newsletters for the Anarchist Women’s Potlucks in 1997/1998. It was weird timing, because people had email and stuff but it was still a real privilege to have internet at home, so everything was done word of mouth. If you read a few issues, you can see that we used voicemail to let people know when they next one will be. So we were kind of cutting edge technology for the 90s, if only we had a beeper! I wrote them on a word processor, then cut and paste and just filled in some of the art with pictures of lips or whatever. I would love to try some of the recipes now, I was a pretty shitty recipe writer back then. So many awesome things came out of those potlucks, including Bluestockings Books which is still standing today. It was really the end of an era! Pre-internet activism, where you kinda had to know everyone face to face. There is definitely something valuable in that. I love seeing these because they seem so innocent, even though I felt jaded back then.”