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The Carroll News

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Keeping up with Kincaid: what is the Slutty Vegan?

Laken Kincaid
Editor-in-Chief, Laken Kincaid, reflects on their thoughts from the past week.

Sloppy Toppy, Sneaky Link, Hollywood Hooker and, my personal favorite, the One Night Stand. While these all may sound like categories of adult films, they are actually menu items at one of my new favorite restaurants: the Slutty Vegan.

I first stumbled upon this quaint establishment during my trip to Atlanta, GA with a few members of The Carroll News editorial team. After an educational and inspirational tour of Georgia Tech’s radio station and newsroom, we decided to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the hotel for the night.

When we were searching for the media rooms after we first arrived on campus, I noticed the fluorescent red sign with promiscuous text out of the corner of my eye. While I promise I did pay attention during the tours of WREK 91.1 FM and the publication corner of the student center, the Slutty Vegan was still in the back of my mind between all of the magazine stands and mic breaks.

After some brief networking and some discussion on the pivotal Myer-Briggs personality tests with possibly-annoyed strangers, our ragtag crew descended the stairs to go to the food court. At the bottom, everyone besides myself diverged to the right to get a basic, mass-produced meal from Chik-fil-A or Panda Express. However, I was determined to try something new and potentially provocative. The Slutty Vegan was a perfect fit.

The menu on their website has a host of items that sound both mouth-watering and slightly sexual. The biggest plus? Every single dish is vegan. As a vegetarian who often struggles to find food options on campus let alone when I travel, this was extremely refreshing and enticing.

Eventually, I landed on ordering the One Night Stand, which swiftly became the sandwich of my dreams. This plant-based patty was topped with vegan bacon (something I did not even think existed), vegan cheese, an onslaught of vegetables and the signature Slut Sauce. While others who are used to a carnivore diet may find objections to this dish, saying it does not taste like real meat, I was in paradise.

Every single bite of the One Night Stand was fantastic. I found myself licking the napkin (get your mind out of the gutter) when finished and subsequently scanning DoorDash to see if I could get another meal delivered to the hotel at a later date. I know the proper thing to say about conferences is that the panels and discussions you hear are revolutionary, and I promise they truly are, but the Slutty Vegan changed my life.

This is especially true because the restaurant normalizes two things: plant-based eating and sex culture.

I am not going to insinuate that I am oppressed because I am a vegetarian, but the gross looks from workers in The Caf when I say “no meat, please!’ is getting kind of old. If I were to try to transition back to the standard meat-and-potatoes diet that many college students have, I think I would get very sick very quickly. Not just because the flavors would be jarring, but because my body is no longer used to consuming the likes of beef and fish. I have heard the horrors of food poisoning from pink chicken and I frankly do not have the time to go through an involuntary bowel cleanse. Normalizing not only vegetarianism but also veganism is a huge win for those who prefer this diet.

Yet, I find myself caring more about how the Slutty Vegan portrays the former part of their name. With menu items like Skinny Dippers and Side Heux, the products are normalizing the sex culture that we see across Generation Z. This may not be a shock to most, especially with how brazenly I am using the word “slut” in this piece, but I am all for this movement.

There are countless articles online that can do a much better job than I explaining the legitimacy of properly discussing sex work and intimacy. Where other age groups have shirked away from discussing things like intercourse, it is only proper that this new fiery age is built on tearing down the foundations of chaste social norms that came before us.

It is unfit to hide from this very real part of the human experience and, often times, avoiding these topics creates further taboos around safe sex practices, STD treatment, rape responses and more. By normalizing sex culture, we normalize proper communication around a topic that was previously burned at the stake.

It is very reminiscent of songs like Taylor Swift’s “Slut!” from 1989 (Taylor’s Version) or some of the various tracks from Olivia Rodrigo. These pop culture icons not only are changing the world with their ticket sales, but also with their provocative tracks that showcase that womanlike sexuality should not be frowned upon. These ideas prove that feminine people do not need to hide their ankles in front of the masculine population, but rather the key is to embrace one’s own eroticism. Sensualness should be the root of one’s own power and confidence, not a weapon to be used against them.

Restaurants like the Slutty Vegan make conversations like this normal and not uncomfortable or gross. Yes, the plant-based burgers are a huge plus, but being a fan of this establishment inevitably boils down to how much I appreciate their attempts to break down the barriers that surround sex education and literacy today.

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About the Contributor
Laken Kincaid
Laken Kincaid, Editor-in-Chief
Laken Kincaid is the Editor-in-Chief for The Carroll News from Beckley, West Virginia. They are a senior at John Carroll University who is double majoring in political science and communications (digital media) and minoring in leadership development. Laken has written for The Carroll News since the start of their freshman year and has previously served as a staff reporter, campus section editor and managing editor of the paper. They have received 18 Best of SNO awards, a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for Region 4 and two honorable mentions from the College Media Association. They have also been recognized by universities like Georgetown for their investigative reports. Additionally, they also write political satire for The Hilltop Show and feature stories on global poverty for The Borgen Project. In addition to their involvement with The Carroll News, Laken is involved with the Kappa Delta sorority, the speech and debate team, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Improv club and other organizations. They also serve as the news director for WJCU 88.7, John Carroll's own radio station, and as the president for John Carroll's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.  Laken also started their own national nonprofit organization known as Art with the Elderly which they have won the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Humanity Rising Award for. When not writing, Laken can be found doing graphic design for their internship with Union Home Mortgage or working as a resident assistant and peer learning facilitator on campus. Laken also enjoys skiing and watching true crime documentaries. In the future, Laken hopes to become a political journalist for a national news organization or to be a campaign commercial editor for politicians. To contact Laken, email them at [email protected].

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