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The New Face of Veganism

Get a look at the new face of veganism.

The mousy hippie chick who couldn't imagine eating a brown-eyed baby cow any more than she could imagine eating the family pet has grown up.

She's a sexy, sassy babe with a smart-aleck attitude about the food choices you are making.

Fashion has met food, and the work of a couple of escapees from the world of modeling has put veganism on the runway, creating a perceptible bump in the fastest-growing food trend among girls and young women.

Credit for the new look of veganism goes to Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, authors of Skinny Bitch, "a no-nonsense, tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous," and a new companion cookbook, Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

The cookbook extends the sensational hold veganism - a fringe discipline even on its best day - suddenly has on the popular imagination.

"I think they are fabulous," said Casey Hall, 23, of Baltimore, who stopped eating meat when she was 11 and became a vegan at 18. "I like their cursing and their up-front attitude."

Freedman and Barnouin, whose books have sold more than 850,000 copies, use a combination of girl power and gross-out stories from the barnyard, and it is an approach that resonates in the tender hearts of young girls, who represent the fastest-growing segment of the vegetarian population.

Roughly 1.4 million American children younger than 18 - and 11 percent of girls between 13 and 17 - identify themselves as vegetarians or vegans, according to the American Dietetic Association. That compares to just 7 percent of the adult population.

Not so long ago, you could scratch a vegan and find an anti-establishment punk rocker - angry and in your face.

Freedman and Barnouin make their case much differently: If you eat better, you will look better.

"Now the Skinny Bitches appeal to all these girls who wish they lived in L.A. and wore Juicy Couture pants," said Hall, who teaches yoga and tends bar.
"I remember we were on the Eastern Shore, driving behind a truck that was carrying chickens in cages," said Carolyn Curcio of Northwest Washington, whose daughter gave up beef and pork in the second grade because she felt bad for the animals.

"We had insisted that Cara continue to eat chicken and fish for health reasons," said Curcio. "But when she saw the truck, she said there was no way she was eating chicken again for the rest of her life.

"Having seen what she saw, we knew there was no way we were going to change her mind," she said of her daughter, a vegan since 16 and a freshman at New York University.
Erin Marcus, 25, who gave up meat in the fifth grade and became a vegan at 20, said Baltimore is a wonderful town in which to be a vegan.

"There are so many choices," said Marcus, who describes herself as an animal-rights activist and "a huge vegan baker."

The Sun recently asked Marcus and two other young women to dinner at the Yabba Pot, a popular vegan restaurant in Baltimore, to talk about their vegan food choices.

full story:,0,7719769.story

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