Bad Vegan: A Meditation in Whiteness

5 min readMar 19, 2022
Photo credit: Netflix

Five minutes into Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives., I knew what Netflix was selling me, white supremacy, and I knew I wasn’t buying it. Bad Vegan is a story centered around Sarma Melngailis, a raw food restaurateur, and Anthony Strangis, the man who defrauded her by telling her he could make her dog immortal and promising her she could enter a realm of spiritual beings by enduring several tests, many of which included giving him thousands of dollars.

About ten minutes into the series, Sarma had been referred to several times as beautiful and was called a “super hot blonde” by Howard Stern. These adjectives prompted me to tweet the following: “One of the greatest examples of white supremacy is barely pretty white women being considered beautiful. #BadVegan” This tweet quickly prompted this response from a, most likely, white person: “@sarma She looks amazing , & do you know how many goddamn black people I’ve seen today try & turn this into a race issue some how some way ? White this white that , Yall muthafuckers try & make everything racial. My god.”

Now, Sarma is by no means ugly, but as I said, she’s barely pretty. But because she’s a white woman with blonde hair in a white supremacist society, she was seen as the next Angelina Jolie, which in turn played into her ability to defraud people as you’ll see shortly.