Vegan-friendly Twitter streams were abuzz with snide exchanges yesterday about an article on so-called "hegans" that had just appeared in the Boston Globe. What is a "hegan"? According to Boston Globe writer Kathleen Pierce, it represents:
the new face of veganism: men in their 40s and 50s embracing a restrictive lifestyle to look better, rectify a gluttonous past, or cheat death.So according to Pierce, the "new face of veganism" focuses on animal products you eat, and on improving your own health or appearance. Animals shmanimals! Pierce presents this as a departure from ordinary veganism (in this case, it's really strict vegetarianism), leaving one to think that vegan men had, up to that point, mostly consisted of effeminate and emaciated shells of human beings.
Salon writer Thomas Rogers picked up on this, yesterday, and shared a few of his own thoughts on Pierce's invention of a new word to describe "the supposed hot new trend of the male vegan -- men who refuse to eat meat and animal products and yet somehow manage to hold on to their masculinity" . He quips that "the succinct catchiness of the word is almost enough to forgive the weaknesses of the article". Me, I think that Pierce is just another in a long line of food writers hopping on the recent interest in variations on purported ethical eating, who attempt to bring attention to themselves by inventing new terms -- like former vegetarian Atlantic food writer Max Fisher did last year, while failing abysmally to carve out a niche for himself as a vegan-hating pseudo-vegetarian.