You might think the words carnivore and vegan are completely opposite ends of the spectrum. The former is the meatiest of meat-eaters, they love anything and everything that comes from an animal. The latter abstains entirely from animal products. In the past, vegans have been stereotyped as sporting flower crowns and eating nothing but leaves and fresh air.
But there’s a shift happening. Plant-based food can be just as indulgent and filling as animal-based food. And one blogger is here to show people that food loved by vegans and carnivores can be one and the same.
Candice Hutchings — YouTuber and founder of recipe blog Edgy Veg — first turned vegan nine years ago. She didn’t make the switch out of a disdain for meat, but out of a love for animals. “I love animals so much, I couldn’t justify eating them or things that come from them,” she told LIVEKINDLY.
‘Carnivore-Approved’ Vegan Junk Food
“I couldn’t find foods I enjoyed so I started making my own foods to satisfy my cravings. I started sharing these recipes with people I knew, then more people became interested in them,” she added. “At the time, no one else was eating or making vegan junk foods, so that’s what made it Edgy.”
Hutchings “carnivore-approved” recipes range from fried chicken (using grapefruit peel) to sushi tuna rolls made with watermelon. Each of her recipes is about making the vegan diet seem approachable to everyone. She said, “I want people, vegan or not, to enjoy plant-based foods.”
For Hutchings, it’s all about keeping the familiarity of the foods you eat every day — but without the animal products. “I think a good way to transition to cooking and eating vegan is to really master the vegan foods you’re already eating,” she explained. “Your favorite pasta dish, favorite snacks, stir fry, anything that you’re already used to eating.”
She stressed that there’s no point in trying to force down a kale salad if you weren’t interested in these types of foods before you went vegan.
The secret is to take the dishes you already love and start by making simple swaps. Love cheesy pasta? Find a vegan recipe. Love burgers? Try out some different vegan meat brands, or make your own patties.
“It’s important to transition foods you already love eating to their vegan counterpart,” said Hutchings. “The way to sustainably eat a vegan diet is to keep as close to how you’re regularly eating as possible. Eat burgers, sandwiches, pasta, soups, but eat the vegan equivalent. This way you stay satisfied and you can happily stay on a plant-based diet.”
Many people are now flexitarian; they still eat meat, but they’re trying to eat more plant-based foods. Hutchings said, “I definitely think there has been a huge shift and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.” But could everyone go all the way and be plant-based all the time? The food blogger is dubious.
She said, “I would love for everyone to eat plant-based, but I’m not sure there would be more vegans than meat-eaters in the near future.”
She’s positive that change is just around the corner, though. “With the way things are going, I think it will be more normalized, more accessible, more accepted, but I think as a society it will be a slower transition,” she added. “[It’s] not impossible.”
It’s all about having the courage to try new things, believes Hutchings. If more people are open to trying out new plant-based foods and experimenting with new recipes, we could be headed towards a future “that is better for the earth, the animals, and our bodies.”