What Will Be on this Blog?
- Whatever we want
- Discussions of veganism, especially from an angle of philosophy, alternative religion, skepticism, and pop culture
- Food talk: recipes, restaurant and product reviews, pictures of awesome food we've made so you can drool with us
- The occasional rant
- Other philosophy, spirituality, or skepticism talk that may not be specifically vegan, but is vegan-adjacent or expresses the values that veganism embodies (that is, hedonic)
- Guest bloggers and maybe even fellow co-conspirators
- Some frank adult talk, but in a tasteful way, in the spirit of learning and sharing, and without profanity. We want this site to be accessible to as many people as possible.
- Links to other cool vegan stuff
What is a Vegan Hedonist?
Hedonism is a philosophy that views happiness as the central goal of life. Several important moral theories can be viewed as hedonistic, such as Utilitarianism. Even the Dalai Lama's philosophies are hedonistic in nature! (Although we wish he would stop eating meat. According to his website, his own kitchen is vegetarian, but when he travels he is not always vegetarian).
Some philosophers, like Bentham, have said that we should be concerned with maximizing the amount of pleasure in everyone's lives and minimizing pain. Others, like Mill, say that we should be more concerned with the quality of pleasure; simple pleasures like fine dining are not, in his view, the equal of more sublime intellectual or spiritual pursuits. Tibetan Buddhism says that we'll never find happiness if we keep looking for it directly, but instead we should be concerned with the well-being of others. Aristotle thought that being happy means flourishing in our lives and living virtuously.
Vegans are quite often, and often unknowingly, following some form of ethical hedonism. Vegans are concerned with the well-being and happiness of all living beings, and that's what good hedonists are all about, my friends.
In modern parlance hedonism has become associated with the pursuit of shallow pleasures. Wild parties, outrageous food, living it up. And that's fine too! As long as it's done ethically. We want to eradicate the image of the sallow, kill-joy vegan wasting away as s/he gnaws on alfalfa sprouts. Veganism can be luxurious, delectable, sexy. It can be joyful and forgiving. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has pointed out the importance of being joyful vegans, not angry ones. She is totally our hero.
How We Got Started
In 2012 NyanKate saw Jason floundering with the desire to write and a passion to make the world a better place. She suggested - demanded, even - that he write a vegan blog. He immediately roped Kimberly into the project. He admired her work with the Vegan Podcast of Horror and thought she had a lot to say.
Because of other commitments, Kimberly has decided to sign on as a "guest blogger" instead of a full time co-conspirator.
Our Little Cabal
Many spiritual systems state that every person comes into life with a spiritual purpose or True Will. Jason Morrow has dedicated his sacred work to helping others find happiness, their authentic selves, and reunification with the divine. A devotee of Aphrodite, he works to bring love into the world through teaching and facilitating rituals, trance work, shamanic soul retrieval, and Reiki. Jason’s passions include veganism, ethics, spirituality, philosophy, neuroscience, and social justice.
His spiritual path combines many elements in a (hopefully) sensible way. As a devotee of Aphrodite, Jason is influenced by Hellenismos, but is not a reconstructionist. He practices core shamanism and Ogdoadic Hermeticism. A fan of Buddhism, he is especially drawn to Tibetan Buddhism which combines Buddhism with the Tibetan shamanic practice of Bon. He likes to say that his heart is Pagan, his mind is Buddhist, and his soul is shamanic.
KIMBERLY STEELE is the author of five novels, including 2005's Forever Fifteen, the first free vampire audiobook on the internet. She is also the alter-ego of composer/singer-songwriter Queenie. Kimberly lives in the Chicago area with her husband and black shelter cat, the enigmatic, gorgeous, cute, and only slightly spoiled Kiki.
What We Were Almost Called
Initially, a cute semi-cartoony cow and chicken were going to hold up V and G signs, inserting them into the word "Epicurean." Epicur(V)e(g)an!
Epicurus was a vegetarian Greek philosopher. He espoused a vegetarian diet, simple living, and the value of friendship. He was also a famous skeptic. As a hedonist, nowadays considered a proto-Utilitarian, he saw happiness as the goal of life. He taught that simplicity, reduction of wants, and freedom from fear and other agitations was the way to true happiness. Because of misunderstanding around the idea of hedonism, the word Epicure was coined to refer to cookbooks, alluding to the hedonistic pleasures of the palate. Epicures, abounding in recipes that call for flesh, have had little to do with the philosophy of Epicurus. Here at Those Vegan Hedonists we think that carnal delights should be had sans carne.
We discovered that there was already a http://veganepicurean.blogspot.com. We considered changing our name to Pythagor(veg)an, and although Pythagoras absolutely rocks, it just didn't have the same ring.