It's fair to say that veganism, vegetarianism and healthy eating in general has a particular image in the public eye. Say 'vegan' or 'wholefood' and, for far too many people, the immediate image is a cliché of sandals and terrible earnestness. This can be off putting. People make life choices as much on emotion or cultural connection as anything else. To grow, veganism needs to find a broader appeal.
I'm as guilty of living the clichés as the next person. My cupboards are packed with quinoa and bulgar wheat. I'm a Green Party member with a pile of Permaculture magazines by my bed. I wear charity shop fashions and one of my favourite sitcoms is The Good Life. Fortunately, there are other people to challenge the stereotype.
My favourite example, but not suitable for young children or the easily offended, is Thug Kitchen. With a stated mission of opening minds to healthy eating and challenging stereotypes, Thug Kitchen combines foul language and street idioms with tasty vegan recipes and beautifully photographed food. It's funny and refreshing, but not for those who can't stand the 'f' word.
Also entertaining is Vegan Black Metal Chef, a video series that does what it says on the tin. Again, it uses the unexpected juxtaposition of vegan cooking and a guy in Kiss make-up to comedic effect and to challenge expectations. How much you get out of it depends on how long you can stand to listen to heavy metal. Fortunately I like screeching guitars and rumbling drums, and my tofu preparation skills have vastly improved since watching his pad thai video.
Give these guys a go. Step out of your own comfort zone and see what tasty recipes you find. And maybe, by supporting them, you'll help draw more people into a better way of eating.
And if you know of any other good examples, please pop them in the comments - I'd love to see more of this sort of thing.