Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March of the Hot Vegan Army - Day #8 - Andre 3000

Andre 3000

Know him from: Andre 3000 (or Andre Benjamin as some call him) is perhaps best known for the flamboyant and attention-getting outfits he performed in as part of wacky hip-hop duo Outkast. As you can see, the tradition continues even now, though it seems Andre is set to be a solo act going forward. Along these same lines, Andre released a clothing line back in 2008 named "Benjamin Bixby," a kind of old-fashioned and preppy line with some unusual twists and details that seem characteristic of Andre. He's also shown up in a recent Gillette razor commercial, dubbed one of the "Masters of Style."

Why he's veg(etari)an: Andre declared himself a vegan back in 1996, though there is not exactly a wealth of information on the internet about why he chose this style of eating. One would tend to get the impression he was inspired by his former relationship with singer Erykah Badu, with whom he shares a child. Erykah Badu has been an active promoter of veganism for quite a while. However, it's been said that Andre does eat honey once in a while, which most vegans consider a no-no due largely to issues of large-scale honey farming. However, Andre was famously quoted as saying that he would probably eat broccoli as his last meal on the planet earth, and he even shared a favorite recipe for a vegan staple, kale, here, but be warned, he wrote it on a napkin.

Why he's awesome: To put it simply, Andre 3000 is an original. Hip hop duo Outkast was born out of Andre and Big Boi's teenage collaborations, and the two went on to win 6 Grammy Awards together, and produced such memorable hits as "Ms. Jackson," "Hey Ya," and "B.O.B. (Bombs over Baghdad)." Andre and Big Boi also were part of a really interesting and odd musical film called Idlewild, which I can say I actually caught in the theater back in 2006. It is set mainly in a prohibition-era speakeasy/night club, and features some anachronistic bluesy-hip hop music that was just perfect to showcase Outkast's mold-breaking song stylings. The movie also had a soundtrack of the same name, which was pretty cool also. Since then, Andre has collaborated with other musicians such as Ke$ha, Lil Wayne, Beyonce, Ciara, John Legend, and Gorillaz. Back in 2004, he was declared by PETA to be the Sexiest Vegetarian Alive, along with Alicia Silverstone.

So overall, I guess what I am trying to point out here is that creative types can just as easily be fueled by plants as they can by meat and dairy. Andre is definitely known for surprising people, and making standout, original performances on the stage, runway, or big screen.

Please note: I have found several sources that state that Andre 3000 still wears leather occasionally. Both vegans and vegetarians generally take issue with this, especially if they have chosen a meat-free diet for animal welfare reasons. One could potentially say that they follow a vegan "diet" rather than a vegan "lifestyle," but generally speaking, if you wear leather, you are not a vegan. And, as far as I'm concerned, it was a lot easier to give up leather belts for the rest of my life than to give up cheese at first. So Mr. 3000, if this is true, please don't wear leather or other animal products, you have a bountiful army of hotties just ready to welcome you with open arms as soon as you ditch the leather.

So, while Andre may be peeling lots of potatoes for the mess hall at the moment, I am still going to go ahead and let him join the Hot Vegan Army. I am not sure if he'll dig the whole concept of "blending in" with those camouflage army fatigues anyway, but I'm sure he'll knock it out of the park helping us plan for our talent show....

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