In a recent promo for Beyond Meat, Snoop Dogg urges his audience to “Eat better, live better,” by incorporating more plant based food into their diets. My immediate reaction was – “wait, is he even vegan?” The short answer is no. This idea brings up a bigger question: Does one need to be a vegan to be a spokesperson for a vegan brand and does Snoop Dogg actually have the right to be representing a diet that he’s not partaking in 100%? The answer is a little longer, but no less complicated and I’ll tell you why.
Why I love choosing Snoop Dogg to represent this brand is because of something that I wrote about before: increasing the number of vegan meals being eaten, rather than that of vegan individuals. Snoop Dogg is happy to incorporate more plant based foods into his diet—he even touts the health and environmental benefits of doing so—and while he’s not completely vegan, he’s still incorporating plant based foods (PBF) into not only his, but also his family’s diets.
In this article I touched on the draw that realistic plant burgers that “bleed” and chew like a real burger have for those who aren’t already vegan and do still love the taste of meat. Consuming something that closely resembles meat may not be ideal for a vegan—I know it’s not for me—but what I think the point of creating a product like Beyond Meat is, is to give meat eaters a link to a plant based diet – those who want to do good for their bodies and the planet but don’t necessarily love tofu.
I think thats exactly why Snoop Dogg is a great face to represent plant based foods with because he too, like so many others, needs the link to it. His mentality represents the mentality of their target audience. It’s about getting people to try it out, like Snoop Dogg says you just have to “sneak in it”—referring to sneaking plant based foods into his family’s meals because meat replacements have a reputation for being bland or having a weird texture.
Speaking of reputation, having Snoop Dogg as the face of Beyond Meat is really a big deal. Us vegans have a reputation for being pale, thin, low-energy, annoying preachers. Not only does Snoop Dogg defy that stereotype, he also comes across as the last person to be judgmental or unfriendly—in other words, he’s cool. Having someone like him represent a vegan brand changes the face of veganism.
Another reason I love Snoop Dogg as the face of this brand as well as another vegan brand, Outstanding Foods, is his presence and involvement with their products. As a promoter and also an investor in the brands, he’s upfront and center. Snoop Dogg is featured in several of Beyond Meat’s advertisements, has partnered with their Feed a Million pledge (to donate one million burgers to those in need during the Coronavirus crisis) and even served customers at a Dunkin Donuts in California during a Beyond Meat promotion. Earlier this year he even participated as a guest judge in a Zoom marketing presentation for university students pitching ideas for Outstanding Foods.
For Snoop Dogg, it’s all about “balance.” As a vegan of almost seven years, my approach towards veganism has changed a lot. And while some may just be screaming at the rapper to “Just go vegan already!”, I actually think he is bridging a gap and drawing more people towards plant-based choices than a private individual who has been vegan for 20 years could do. My motto in recent years has been to praise those who are making small changes, even though they may not be doing it “perfectly” (who does, really?). We all start somewhere.
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Photo: .@snoopdogg on Instagram; Dunkin’ Donuts