Vogue Writer Tries to Go Vegan, Has Chickpea-Induced Nervous Breakdown


The June issue of Vogue includes the Features Director’s struggle to cook a few outrageously expensive vegan meals for her affably useless husband. It includes the line: “It was all down to me, it seemed, and pretty soon I was having a chickpea-induced nervous breakdown.” Oh, honey.

After Peter, Features Director Eve MacSweeney’s husband, experiences serious heart problems, his doctor recommends a vegan diet. Since Peter “likes cooking in the virtual sense — watching chefs on TV” (don’t we all), MacSweeney decides to dedicate all of her time to cooking vegan meals that entice her husband’s picky palate. “I found myself on a treadmill of food preparation, my evenings — previously finely sliced between spending time with the boys, making dinner, and pursuing my own interest and social life — consumed by toiling over the stove,” she writes (in a piece that’s only in print). What was she doing in there? Hasn’t she ever heard of lentils?

Problem Number One (hashtag #VogueProblems): her husband is a whiny baby. Peter was displeased with one meal she concocted, “garlic-braised bok choy, dal with lots of cilantro and caramelized shallots, chopped guacamole the way a Mexican friend had taught me, and rice.” It made him “hungry and sad.” Maybe Peter should be a little more appreciative that his gainfully employed wife is spending so much time catering to his needs. Plus: people who don’t like guacamole should not be trusted.

Problem Number Two: Going vegan is pricey! JK, that’s not a problem. MacSweeney calls in the experts, who take her shopping: one trip to Whole Foods involves $250 worth of millet and amaranth, hemp seeds and seaweed, sweet rice, forbidden rice, and a frightening amount of goji berries. That’s just for veggie accoutrements. Of course, eating vegan doesn’t actually have to be more expensive than eating meat — unless you’re a Vogue editor, and thus feel compelled to make your own almond milk using organic Sicilian almonds and something called a “nut bag.”

Sure, it’s hardly breaking news that Vogue ran a story about a rich lady feeding her husband pricey beans with unpronounceable names. But there’s been a lot of discussion lately regarding why women’s magazines aren’t taken seriously, and Vogue is often referred to as one of the few magazines that care about publishing quality work. MacSweeney is the magazine’s Features Director. Which means she not only wrote but ostensibly had some part in conceiving this hackneyed piece about a practice readers already know about (entitled “Vegging Out,” no less) that focuses on man-pleasing.

Even the veg proletariat can’t win this month: Red Robin recently ran an ad spot for its various burgers that included the line, “We even have a garden burger … just in case your teenage daughter is going through a phase.” Veganism: for teenagers, or Vogue editors who can afford to bathe in goji berries.

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