Review/Rant for Yasmina #1: The Secret of the Chef

Review/Rant for Yasmina #1: The Secret of the Chef

Het geheim van de chef, Yasmina #1, Wauter Mannaert, Cooking, Pushy Vegetarian, Pushy everything, Magical Food, Graphic Novel/Comic, Girl, noWarning, big ranty review coming. If you are not in for anger and rants then stay away. XD

So, while this one doesn’t have an official English release I just wanted to vent about it. Since I want to keep my Dutch Book Blog 2.5-3 star only (because of how Dutch authors react to reviews) I thought I would just throw it on here.

Let’s start with my thoughts when I started. They were pretty OK, sure, I was a bit hesitant about the back and the comic there. Her petition to make two subjects (gardening/cooking) mandatory for all seemed to go a bit far, but I was eager to see what would happen. The art was really pretty. I just loved seeing Yasmina whip up a whole new bento (love love bentos). But then things quickly derailed. She is enormously pushy. She just gets into people’s faces or their feeds in case of them just staring at their screens, she doesn’t care about privacy because even later we see her at the bathroom trying to convince people with signs and the whole shebang. WTF girl. I get that you want 2 new subjects in school, but this is going way too far. Not to mention.. she isn’t just pushing about those subjects but about something that I am just so fucking tired of. Pushing people to eat vegetarian stuff. Preaching and judging. Constantly. Not realising that what she is doing is fucking ableist and boils my blood.

I am all for letting people know about choices, about food, about the options that are present at the time. But really, in the end, you should let people just be their own person and let them make those decisions for themselves. This was just horrible. At her stall (with food I can probably not eat due to all the things) she (and her dad) are constantly judging the people who buy food from other stalls. One time that is a girl who gets an enormous chocolate crepe construction which looks absolutely delicious. Most of the time it is the chicken stand across of their stand. They are constantly making remarks even saying that people will turn into chickens. WTF? Again, let people do what they want. You are not making any friends by being so judgemental. And people will feel that you are judging and will definitely just run away.

Pushing people into vegetarian/vegan is just bad. I mean, I cannot be a fulltime vegetarian at all, and vegan is totally off for me. I just have too many allergies/intolerances/restrictions. I have tried being vegetarian for 5 years and in those 5 years… you don’t want to know how many doctors I saw or what my body did to me. In the end I am back to eating meat and my body is much happier. These days I have 2 maybe (if I feel really OK) 3 whole days without meat. Other than that I need that meat. I just cannot substitute. And I wish that people who are vegetarian/vegan or writers for books about characters like that (as I have no clue if the writer of this book is vegan/vegetarian) would understand that. Would see that it is a fucking ableist thing to force and push and shove and comment constantly. That you should just allow people to choose and have that choice. I don’t need to constantly be reminded that meat is bad. I don’t need those comments that I am a bad person because I eat meat. I don’t need charts or whatever in my face. And I know that I am not alone, there are many more people I found on Twitter and online that cannot be vegetarians or vegans. Some cannot be at all, some are like me and do a few days here and there.

Oh, and I found it fucking hilarious that the trope: magical food that fixes all (as I would call it), appears in this book. I mean, a girl, 11-year old, brings along a big fucking knife, cooks food with fire at school. But it is all right because the food is so darn yummy. Just let her off the hook and even support her petition. He even cuts himself on the knife, but that is OK, I just had yummy food. No, just no.

As for the petition. I get that you want to make people more understanding and aware of the environment, but forcing people to take Gardening AND Cooking? That is only going to end up badly, believe me. No one likes to be forced into something. What I would have done is make the first 3 lessons mandatory and after that let people pick if they want to continue or not. Believe me, there will be enough people that will be interested. That will want to participate in this. You cannot force things because I have seen what that does and I also know from experience that this is just going to end with people unwilling to learn and just be angry all the time, which is not what you want.

It was just so disappointing. So so disappointing. I am just so angry. I mean, I see this shit (pushing/preaching) too many times already, we don’t need more. Again, let people make their own choices. Let them see what the options are, but if they don’t want to, just leave it be. Don’t judge. Don’t rant. Don’t make snide comments. They now know, who knows, maybe one day they will try it.

Hey, at least the art was good. That is what kept me reading. Plus, I had fun seeing Yasmina magically make yummy food.

But the rest just sucked. Go away preachy vegetarians/vegans.

And that is the end of this rant. If you read this far, thanks and sorry, I just had to vent. Had to get this off my chest. Had to throw it out. I am already pretty vocal about these things, but mostly on my Twitter. XD

Star rating, 1 stars

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