My father passed along a good article about veganism’s rise in popularity, and the new trend of celebrity vegans popping up faster than waistbands at a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Even more interesting is the fact that it isn’t just stringy supermodels claiming meat-free fame. Even the most macho men can now live like a vegan without being called, well, a pussy (squirm!). I’ve mentioned some unlikely vegans in former posts, but was shocked to read Mike Tyson – the ear nibbler himself – is off the meaty, cheesy bandwagon. Bill Clinton, too, has crossed over to the leafy green side.

The article, written by Eric Steinman, adresses veganism as the new cool thing to do (labeling these vegan stud-muffins “power vegans”) and plays devil’s advocate as he questions the possible effect this trend may have on the ethical reputation of vegans.

“Is this association with the elite hurting the cause, or helping it? Isn’t any advocacy, especially along the lines of health and the ethical treatment of animals, a good thing? Or does this sort of trending (especially with such a group of “power vegans”) run the risk of trivializing the politics and ethos of veganism? Does news like this make you feel more empowered to eat ethically, or just more cynical about all the reasons people eat to impress?”

One of the few things I remember from my course on ethics in college (what!? It was 8 AM and the guy next to me was super cute..) was the question, If a man saves a little boy from drowning, does it matter whether he did it out of the goodness of his heart, or merely to earn himself a good reputation. In the end, does it really matter, as long as the kid doesn’t drown? Something along those lines..

I don’t care if people are turning to veganism because it is trendy: It’s good for the environment, the body, and heck, tofu is a lot cheaper than a steak…

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