You probably guessed it from my #vegan pics on the Baldy Instagram but I don’t eat meat. Or eggs. Or cheese. Basically if it’s from or of an animal I leave it alone. That’s my thing and I understand that it’s not for everybody. But more and more I see people that aren’t #vegan adopting things like Meatless Mondays and for me at least it’s nice knowing that even for one day out of the week some animals were spared death or misery. Even big chains like Dunkin’ Donuts are offering things like almond milk now which I never would have imagined a few years ago. I was in a Quick Check last week in Bayonne, NJ and they even had soy milk for their coffee bar. Let me repeat…. Quick Check in Bayonne, NJ. This isn’t a gourmet coffee shop in Portland, OR or Brooklyn, NY we’re talking about here. But I digress. My point is that eating vegetarian or vegan is not exclusively something done by vegetarians and vegans. So what I’m saying is that even if you’re not a hardline veg head please continue to read on. This has to do with punk rock too and if you’re on my site now reading this, that is definitely something we can find a common ground on.
Backing up a little bit, when my wife and I went #vegan we didn’t know what the hell we were doing. We had to retrain ourselves to cook. We had to try a whole host of foods that we never even heard of. What the hell is tempeh? What’s Nutritional yeast?!?! I still don’t know exactly. One of the ways we planned out our meals was to buy a ton of cookbooks. After awhile though I was confident enough to tweak recipes and even create some of my own. One of my favorite books that we had at that time was called Soy Not Oi. We got it on amazon. On the back cover there’s a bunch of vegetables outside Washington with the line “Over 100 Recipes Designed to Destroy the Government”. What’s not to like about that? The drawing is classic too. Inside the book there’s as much recipes as there is talk about punk bands. It’s like a 90s punk zine but with food. So I did some digging and found out that the authors were responsible for a long running punk zine and label called Hippycore. Jack Kahn and Joel Olson were two friends who like many of us in the punk scene tried to create something for all of the rest of us. And they did it together with the help of their friends. 100% DIY.
In 2012 Joel Olson passed away. Rather than re-releasing the original book, Jack undertook the task of putting together a brand new edition. Along with longtime Hippycore cohorts Eryc Why and Jackie Weltman they began putting out the calling for new recipes, new punk ramblings, and for written memorials to Joel. All proceeds of this second volume of Soy Not Oi are being given to Joel’s family as well. Some people talk quite a bit about “we should do this”, “we should do that”, and “you know what we should do?”. Other people, like Jack, Eryc, and Jackie just get out there and fucking do it. I’m humbled by the amount of work they’ve put into this project. And I’m happy to have three more people in this world I can call a friend. Let me back up again though.
I can’t exactly remember where I saw their call out for new contributors to volume two. But it had been a while since I wrote anything and it seemed like an awesome thing to be a part of so I reached out to them and immediately I was part of their new krew. I’ll try to make an analogy here but will likely go off on a tangent. But when I was much younger and in high school I had a very small group of friends. Very small. We came together on among other things our love of punk and hardcore. It wasn’t until we started going to shows that I realized there were more of us out there. It’s an indescribable feeling, but walking into those shitty clubs on the LES for the first time at 16 years old and feeling an immediate sense of community with total strangers had a profound impact on my life. And when I reached out to Jack to see if I could help write some things it was the same thing all over again for me. They just accepted me like an old friend. When you find people like that, the last thing you want to do is to let them down. So I did my best to write up some recipes that would not only taste good but would also hopefully get people to spin some fun records, and even laugh a little as they enjoy vegetables at least for a meal or two out of the week.
In addition to a few recipes, they also asked me to write an essay on the link between punk and veganism. I put alot into it and like everything I’ve ever written worry about every single solitary word therein.
At the end of the day I hope I didn’t embarrass myself with my lofty ideals and bad jokes. But I’ll leave that up to you all. I can say this, my penne vodka is pretty damn good and so are my pancakes. If you like punk rock. If you like veggies. If you’ve ever lost a friend. I implore you to buy this amazing book.
Visit https://soynotoi.com/ to buy direct from them, get a shirt, and donate to Joel’s family.
Alternately if you were going to place an order with us we have a small amount of copies available in the Baldy Shop and I’ll even write something funny in yours before I send it out.