By Maureen C. Wyse
Brownie-Chunk Cheesecake from Vegan Treats
“And I plan through writing and my involvement with various social
justice ventures to help intelligently and effectively spread compassion
promote change. More specifically, I…”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa…” my professor cut me off with his mouth
full. “You are missing the point.”
“What???” I said in disbelief that he would cut me off at such an
“You’re going about this all wrong. The answer is right in front
of you,” he said as he forked another bite into his mouth.
I scanned the table for an answer, “Graduating from Gallatin at New York
University, my involvement with NYU’s animal rights group, my writing, Satya Magazine?”
“No, right in front of you,” still chewing.
I looked down to where he was pointing. A Vegan Treats Brownie Chunk Cheesecake?
Yes, he was implying that the concoction of soy, sugar, chocolate and deliciousness
was my answer to saving the world—or at least effectively creating change
in the future. He was advocating a seeing-is-believing approach. I got it.
If this professor of history and politics of media and culture at New York
a radical cultural studies wiz, was telling me vegan cake was the answer, I
thought I should listen.
It was then at my colloquium, my culmination of studies for my bachelor’s
degree at NYU, that I realized I had been going about it all wrong. I had tools
at my disposal to change minds, open hearts, create a difference, but my nose
was stuck in the books and behind a computer screen. Professor Stephen Duncombe
was sick of being talked at—hearing the relationship between classic
text and the media, and how to change the world. He saw the cheesecake I brought
a snack during the two-hour evaluation as the answer.
So at Satya I tried to put it to the test. In every issue for the past two years
I have tried to communicate the appeal and importance of vegan cake and other
treats. Through reviews of restaurants and bakeries, and interviews with people
trying to gain believers through yummy food, I tried to convey the importance
of what I think is one of the best ways to reach people.
It seems that if people aren’t directly related to the horrors of their
diet or the destruction of the world and the environment, they will wait for
someone else to take action. If confronted, if forced to make a change with their
diet, they make the change if they know they will benefit. Tell them about great-tasting
cruelty-free sweets that they will seek again, and you have someone inadvertently
caring about animal rights issues. And as they go back and learn about cholesterol,
heart disease, added antibiotics and chemicals—everything that comes from
eating the animal stuff—they begin to tell other friends, do their own
research, and change their habits. And where their morning routine used to include
Dunkin, it now includes vegan scones, their McDonald’s lunch is now chick-free
Boca sandwiches, and so on.
Aside from gaining positive reactions from people who read the reviews in Satya
and try the new ice cream flavor or veggie restaurant in town, I also see the
results in the diners themselves. Working part-time for over three years at
popular West Village soul vegetarian restaurant, Red Bamboo, I know the approach
go through the stomach. Duncombe was right. With nearly 75 percent or more
of Red Bamboo’s customers being neither vegan nor vegetarian—but just
plain liking the food—hundreds of thousands of lives are saved on a daily
basis just through those customers I serve. People come back for the Creole
Soul Chicken, the Cajun Fried Shrimp and the Butterfly Soy Chops, knowing that
are the victims, not chickens, shrimps or pigs. And they do it because it
Where I tried to fuse my passion in writing and editing with this dynamic tactic
at creating believers of the cruelty-free diet, Satya’s end shows me that
I must travel on the path to the sure-fire bet. I turn to the Brownie Chunk Cheesecake
and let its inspiration guide me to my next calling: convince as many people
as possible that veganism tastes good…so just do it.
I say, let them eat cake…and brownies, donuts, sticky buns, anything
sweet, as long as it is so good it shows people how easy and tasty vegan can
you wait, vegan food will help take over the world.
Circulation Manager for Satya, Maureen C. Wyse wears
many hats. Coordinating events, writing, editing and being on the look out
for delicious vegan food, she believes in the power of the written word (and
food) to help change minds and hearts.
© STEALTH TECHNOLOGIES INC.