There's something quite familiar about Argos' new 'vegan grill'
As June turns to July and we can start to look ahead to Wimbledon and Independence Day (depending on where you are), summer is in full flow. Summertime means many different things for different people, but for me, there's nothing that says 'summer' more than slapping some meat on the grill and knocking back a few beers with your best and beloved.
But one subset of society that's typically missed out on the summertime barbecue are vegans. If you're not really into eating meat or even tucking into a halloumi or veggie burger, then barbecues can be sad affairs indeed. You could always bring a carrot dog with you to a barbecue, but then I'd have to assume you're a horrible human being I could never, ever spend significant quality time with.
So whatever is a vegan to do in the heat of barbecue season? Well, retailer Argos thought they had the answer: they came out with what they're calling the 'vegan barbecue' - the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, and maybe even the world.
Available for the nominal fee of £9.99, the idea behind the vegan barbecue is simple. The product description says about as much, revealing that it's “designed to cook corn on the cobs, peppers, Shroomdogs and more to flame-grilled perfection”, surely singing to the hearts of vegans all over the country, tired of missing out on the summer festivities.
Right? Uh, not so much.
You see, the thing with a vegan grill that's confusing me is that unless it's made out of some weird material that's not come from a plant (say, for example, metal), is there any difference between a vegan grill and a regular grill beyond what you decide to cook on there?
If you answered 'no', then a job at Argos might not be right for you. People on have been quick to point out that a 'vegan' grill is just a regular grill with, y'know, vegan stuff on it. The picture in the tweet, even, has meat on the grill. In fact, the link in that tweet up there takes you to the regular barbecue, where people have left reviews like this one:
"Used this BBQ for camping, easy to build (used a knife) and easy to take apart ready for future use! fits streight back into the box! enough space to cook for the family, the only down fall is not having a cover as i had a seagull steal 2 ribs of this whilst my back was turned. [sic]"
Dastardly thieving seagulls aside, this is clearly a bizarre attempt to appeal to the vegans this summertime, but those sharp-eyed vegans saw right through it. Must be all the carrots they eat.
Oh dear, Argos. At least they gave it a go.
So, vegans out there, if you're hankering for a nice bit of grilled food this summertime, you're going to need to get creative, but there are definitely some options out there for you. Whatever you decide to do, though, make sure that you use a grill to do so. It literally doesn't matter which one.