Jay-Z announced on his blog Wednesday that he is going to take on a temporary vegan diet (“or,” he wrote, “as I prefer to call it, plant-based!!”) to celebrate his 44th birthday. “P.S.,” he added in the last line. “B is also joining me.”
Representatives have yet to reveal whether the move was an attempt to raise awareness about animal and/or human rights issues around the world, increase knowledge about the health benefits of a meat- and animal-product free diet to a unique audience, or make Beyoncé even more attractive to queer women. “This is basically all I’ve wanted all my life,” Rachel Kincaid, Senior Editor of Autostraddle, told me. As early as 2011, she’d tweeted that “bey and jay-z being vegan would be like getting a pony in that i would NEVER ASK FOR ANYTHING ELSE EVER AGAIN.”
Stefanie Schwartz, Music Editor for Autostraddle and The Worst, echoed those sentiments even though they clashed with her own opinions of a “temporary” attempt at veganism as a vegan of ten years. “I wish they explained why they wanted to try out being vegan, like if suddenly they were worried about the ethics of eating animals? Or the environment? Or health?” she told me. “But, I also want to eat tofu rancheros with daiya pepperjack melted on top with Jay-Z and Beyoncé real bad.”
Jay discussed his motivations and reasoning for the decisions in his blog post, and his rationale was multifaceted. He began by discussing the psychological thrill of the exercise:
Psychologists have said it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. On the 22nd day, you’ve found the way.
Additionally, the timing also seemed perfect to the Carters. After all, 22 times 2 is 44, and it feels like one of those nights where they ditch the whole scene, and Christmas is 22 days after the day before Jay’s actual birthday! Some signs can’t be unseen, you know.
Why now? There’s something spiritual to me about it being my 44th birthday and the serendipity behind the number of days in this challenge; 22 (2+2=4) coupled with the fact that the challenge ends on Christmas day…It just feels right!
Jay then offered a final explanation:
So you can call it a spiritual and physical cleanse.
The decision was also credited to 22 Days Nutrition, as well as its founder – “world-renowned exercise physiologist Marco Borges” – in the post. While Jay-Z has committed to posting his progress, 22 Days is partnering to post daily recipes and facts about vegan eating and living. But Jay’s not trying to cook at home. “Any professional vegans out there that have any great food spots please help out!” he asks in the post.
Although Beyoncé and Jay-Z have committed to only 22 days of veganism, their hearts remain open. “I don’t know what happens after Christmas,” Jay writes. “A semi-vegan, a full plant-based diet? Or just a spiritual and physical challenge? We’ll see…”
And I’ll be watching. Not in a creepy way, though.
Beyoncé and Jay Z vegan lunch in L.A., for Jay’s 44th birthday – Dec. 4 pic.twitter.com/c1RAjN99Rn
— Beyoncé Lite (@BeyonceLite) December 5, 2013
(Ok, maybe in a creepy way.)
Now I can imagine Ellen and Portia on a double date with the Knowles-Carters at an Isa Chandra Moskowitz restaurant (it’s real in my head, OK) while Woody Harrelson smokes pot in the corner and discusses greenhouse gases with Al Gore.
I think she’s opening a restaurant in Omaha soon! #dreamscancometrue
im confused. Why should queers care what kind of food two pop singers shove in their mouths?? Why are queers rejoicing?
Haha! I thought the same thing. perhaps the title should be edited to “..Some queers rejoice.” Then again if I wrote for AS there would be tons of articles about Prince & what kind of food he puts in his mouth.
Because the writers are excited and this is their website to write for?
Argh, this was supposed to be a response to shade.
whoa do you do autopsies?
This reads like an US weekly article and I love it.
Jay-Z encouraging people to eat more plants can only be a good thing. Also good news for vegan restaurants, they’re about to have a busy 22 days with people hoping to see the Carter’s stuff their faces with plants!
i’m waiting for non-temporary vegans to come along and be offended by having their dietary choices referred to as a ‘cleanse’
I’m a thus-far non-temporary vegan, and I don’t give half a darn about people choosing to eat what they eat (you do you!).
I just care about anything and everything Beyonce does, because I’m still pushing a Beyonce For Queen of the Planet agenda.
As a vegetarian who eats a mostly vegan diet, but has had 2 ice cream “episodes” this past year(which is why I call myself a vegetarian and not a vegan), I’m personally just happy when people give vegetarianism/veganism a try. Even if it’s just for 21 days, that’s 21 less meat eating days.
Give peas a chance!
This comment is hilarious.
I think my sarcasm font was too subtle given the hard hitting investigative journalism of the original article
I’ve been reading and applying Mark Bittman’s Vegan before 6 to my diet, and have felt a lot healthier since, so I’m all about being as vegan as you can. I like meat too much to cut it out but try to get grass-fed, farm raised meat and try to eat as little meat as I can go before craving crazy amounts of lamb curry.
Question for y’all, queer vegans. I think of veganism and even my trying to buy grass-fed, farm raised meat as very privileged, in some ways. Do you agree?
Well. Here’s my experience: I’m a most of the time vegan (I commit to cooking 100% vegan food but if I’m out with friends I’ll eat whatever I want. It works out to having a cheat day around once a week). If I commit to cooking a well rounded and healthy diet, it’s cheaper to do it vegan because buying meat and dairy gets really expensive (I don’t buy meat replacements because I don’t like them and they’re expensive… I prefer to just eat whole plants, beans, and grains). However, if I’m really broke life gets hard (w/r/t time and money) I’m buying 49 cent boxes of mac n cheese and bargain brand canned pasta.
So for me eating healthy period is a privilege. And eating healthy with grass fed meat is a super privilege. I can’t afford it so that’s one of the reasons I stick to being vegan. Lol it saves me money.
I get this, and yeah, it’s one of the reasons that I’m trending towards vegetarian/vegan (dairy isn’t very good for me, either).
Sure, it’ a privilege to be able to decide what to eat but that doesn’t mean that privilege shouldn’t be exercised if it’s for the greater good. It also requires privilege to be able to buy a slice of pizza or a bag of chips, you know? It’s a privilege that we can eat at all.
In my particular life, where I have access to a wide variety of grocery stores and have time to cook (not the case for everyone), a vegan diet is ridiculously cheap, though.
Oh I wasn’t equating privilege to bad. It’s also a privilege that I’m in grad school — it’s just something I’ve been batting around in my head.
a few thoughts on this! i see what you’re saying, but am not sure that veganism and buying organic grassfed farm raised meat are actually analogous. buying fancy meat is inherently more expensive and also a rarer product, which i think does imply at the very least a certain level of economic/class privilege to obtain, as well as access to stores like Whole Foods. these things aren’t true of veganism though — many vegan diets (like mine!) are generally cheaper than omnivorous ones and can be supported with access to regular chain grocery stores. (i do think it would be super difficult and maybe impossible to be healthy and vegan in a food desert).
also, i think sometimes when we talk about veganism and privilege we assume that veganism was invented by white hipsters in williamsburg, and while certainly many of them practice it, there are a lot of cultures who have eaten diets that are very low in animal products and totally devoid of things like dairy for centuries. so the kind of vegan diet that involves daiya cheese and tofutti sour cream on nachos might hold true for the kind of problem you’re talking about, but having a bowl of rice with tofu and pickled vegetables for dinner is a pretty basic thing that i think many people of different classes, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds have enjoyed forever.
if you’re interested in veganism and economic/class stuff, you might be interested in MeloMeals, who writes a lot about (mostly) vegan living on a very strict budget, and often with dollar store ingredients.
Thanks, Rachel. I’ll definitely check that out. I’ve always assumed that vegetarian diets have a long history (hell, my dad came from a family that couldn’t afford much meat or eggs), but wasn’t sure about vegan diets.
I also was thinking about the education it takes (informal or formal) to make sure you’re healthy and balanced while eating a vegan diet, which I used to(wrongly) assume was harder to keep track of.
I’m so not vegan but I am so pro beyoncé and jay-z
I read this last night on my phone at like 1 a.m. and have rarely laughed so hard in my life. Bravo, Carmen. And bravo, Rachel and Stef for being some of my favorite hilarious vegans (the other favorite being my sister).
I have a question for queer vegans. I checked out the recipes on the 22Day Challenge Site, and they are full of carbohydrates. I’ve been vegetarian for over a decade, but I’ve also been a type-1 diabetic for much longer. I’m also poor and can’t afford organic food all the time.
How do poor diabetics handle a vegan diet? Jay-Z and Beyonce both have able-bodied and class privileges to handle it, but I don’t.
I’m not diabetic (and while I’m predominantly vegan I do have a lot of off and on spells and cheat days because I’m poor and don’t want to drive myself crazy), but my diet mostly consists of vegetables, beans, and grains like brown rice, bulgur wheat, corn tortillas, and sprouted grain bread. I don’t eat a lot of pasta and I usually only eat fruit after a workout. How sensitive are you to carbs? I know brown rice + mix of vegetables + beans is technically 100% carbs but are they the type that can drastically affect your blood sugar?
Vegan diets aren’t for everyone and just remember that that’s okay. I’m not sure that it would be best in your situation :/. If you really really really wanted to I think you’d end up eating a lot of soy and beans and nuts to try to keep the carbs down? But it sounds like it might be very rough for you and might not be the healthiest.
This is a difficult question, and if you do find any good resources, please share!
My mom is diabetic (type 2) and basically has to limit each meal to a certain number of carbs, no matter the type. Which makes vegan meals difficult to plan because even beans are higher in carbs than you think (1/2 cup of beans, depending on the type, has as many carbs as a half cup of rice).
But as far as cheaper veggie options, don’t be afraid to talk to the produce people wherever you shop. Ask when they get shipments and if they mark stuff down for sale when it needs to be used quickly when they usually do so. Or if you have a local farmer’s market to ask some of the farmer’s if they can offer a discounted price on produce that is a little bruised. My last year of grad school back home, a local farmer would frequently give me perfectly good squash for free saying no one would buy it and if I didn’t eat it the chickens would. Too bad for the chickens.
I just made an account just so I can say:
OMG JAY-Z ANY BEYONCE ARE EATING AT MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD.
I feel second-hand famous.
I wonder if Kanye will decide he and Kim should also participate.
“…or make Beyoncé even more attractive to queer women.”
I love you hilarious vegan humans and am actually excited for this. I sincerely hope they fall in love with how they feel and stick to it…then tell the world about it…then share recipes. Am I asking too much?
“Upgrade Ur Menu”
“Best Thing I Never Ate (Because It Wasn’t Vegan)”
“Cater 2 Ur Dietary Restrictions”
“If I Were An Omnivore”
“Survivor (Til like 112 Because Of My Vegan Diet)”
“Young Forever (Because of My Vegan Diet)”
“Can I Get A… (Ingredients List)”
“Vegan Crepes in Paris”
If Beyonce told me to go vegan I would.
to clarify, i think it’s gross when celebrities jump on and off the vegan bandwagon and make people who actually make a lifestyle out of it look totally batshit crazy, but oh man this could have such an awesome effect on a lot of people! a lot of people look up to jay z and beyonce and i hope that if they can do it, it will be seen as like, a healthier, more ethical diet and not just like, a thing rich people do because they’re insane.
I love Beyoncé and rationalizing things with irrational number patterns so this article is perfect.
Yesssssss! I hope they love it! :)
I love this so.
I’ma need someone to remix Cazwell’s classic now! “I seen Beyonce at Burger King…but she was vegan.”
i seen beyonce at foodswings
she ordered a tempeh bacon burger and onion rings…
why doesn’t this comment have 3,0000 likes
Wait this is the best Carmen. I just had to go back to the top of the page to make sure I hadn’t accidentally clicked on a post from April 1st. I think that means you’ve won.
Also, there isn’t anything Beyoncé could to be more attractive to me.
Does this mean Blue Ivy is going to stop wearing amazing leather jackets?
Okay. Okay. But why is this under “news + politics”?
You all do know that Beyonce showed up to one of these vegan restaurants wearing a real fur?! Just checking. Never been a fan of her anyway.
Thank you for your great article.
I didn’t new that Woody Harrelson was vegan, until i read this article: http://animal-welfare.org/famous-vegan-celebrities-woody-harrelson/
In 2012, PETA even declared Mr. Harrelson the Sexiest Vegan.
What do you think ?