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T.O.F.U. Magazine: There is an alternative

February 1, 2011

Awhile back the team here at PRANA stumbled upon T.O.F.U., a magazine that dedicates itself to supporting change in the world around it. T.O.F.U. works tirelessly to produce a great publication chalked full of articles and news from the world of veganism. Ryan Patey is the magazine’s main man and he was nice enough to take the time to tell us all about what T.O.F.U. is trying to do and what we can expect from them in the future. Visit their site to check out the fourth issue of T.O.F.U. magazine but first, see what Ryan had to say about his creation.

I started T.O.F.U. magazine in an attempt to showcase the work of those in the vegan community who believed in an alternative. Not just an alternative to mainstream dining habits, but also alternative facets of veganism beyond food porn.

Sure, we have always included recipes in our publications, and the whole idea of T.O.F.U. grew out of the success of a couple of small cookbooks, but when the magazine started I knew that there was more to the vegan world than just great cupcakes. Plus, so many other folks were already doing amazing things with food blogs and recipe books that I couldn’t see the point in re-inventing the mixing spoon.

Since the first issue of T.O.F.U. a few years ago, the magazine has found homes around the world. From Australia to Finland, contributors and readers have helped to explore and explain what it means to be vegan. To say the feedback and support has been surprising would be an understatement. Despite setbacks and an intermittent release schedule, every issue of the magazine has been met with a larger audience and even more enthusiasm.

Evidence of this support was obvious when I decided to follow the release of the third issue, after a long silence since issue two, with a North American tour. For over a month I lived out of a van with two vegan musicians from the U.S.A., Amanda Rogers and Mike Matta, now known as The Pleasants. I traveled with them across Canada, from New Brunswick to Alberta, and then across the border, from California to New York. Along the way we met vegans and other folk from all walks of life, and helped to spread the word about choosing the alternative.

Then, in typical independent publishing fashion, over a year went by before another issue. Life got in the way, money proved an obstacle, and I moved several times. Of course, the intent to release another issue was never really lost, just set aside. When work began on the fourth issue, I knew I wanted the magazine to move in a different, more ecologically friendly direction, and it did. The reception of the purely digital fourth issue has been great: T.O.F.U. is spreading the word even further now. Additionally, an all-digital release allowed us to start up the T.O.F.U. grant project, long a pipe dream of mine.

I’m both proud and amazed of how much has happened since issue one was put on shelves. Of course, like so many things that strive to create change in the world, the work is never really done. Despite the popularity of this issue, I know we can do better. And we will.




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