Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hegans, Indeed!

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.

7 comments:

Vanilla Rose said...

Hegan????? I have a picture in my mind of a vegan-cup-cake baking vegan woman singing, "So macho, he's got to be so macho!"

JackP said...

Can I just say Argh?
Does this mean that female Vegans are just called "Vegans" or "Shegans", Shegan does have a certain ring to it o.O
That dish hes eating doesnt seem very tasty "A pasta dish with chickpeas, onion, garlic, olive oil, and basil is a vegan dish a hegan could sink his teeth into". So what its Pasta and Chickpeans in oniony Garlicy water?

Dan Cudahy said...

If our society’s vision of a “masculine guy” is someone who contributes to the misery and death of some of the most innocent and vulnerable among us – nonhuman animals – then I suppose an equally valid vision of a “masculine guy” is someone who regularly murders others of the most innocent and vulnerable among us – young children.

But talk about what is “masculine” and what is “feminine” is sexist nonsense anyway. I’d rather talk in gender-neutral terms such as strength and courage versus weakness and cowardice, particularly mental and psychological strength and courage. On average, men are biologically larger and stronger than their female counterparts. In a 21st century world of tools and weapons, however, physical strength doesn’t translate into anything practically significant. (In violence, awareness and better skills with a handgun far outweigh the ability to physically overcome an opponent.) What matters is mental and psychological strength, and in these categories women exceed men just as often, or more often, than men exceed women.

As a man in his 40s, I see contributing to the misery and death of some of the most innocent and vulnerable among us as mental weakness and cowardice in and of itself, male or female. Possibly adding to that is the cowardice and stupidity of keeping it up because one is afraid of what will happen to one’s precious self-image in the minds of others in the herd who pick on the innocent and vulnerable.

Veganism displays strength, confidence, and courage. Male and female vegans are the ones who are self-assured enough to buck the herd and stand up for the innocent and vulnerable.

Anna Graham Shonle said...

"Somehow manage to hold on to their masculinity"?? This cracks me up. In a sad kind of way.

Philip Steir said...

Megans= People in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s who are vegan because it's all about them!

Wegans= a collective of humans who embracing an animal free product lifestyle of eating habits so as to feel a part of a group who cheat lonliness, alienation and the feeling of being isolated in ones solo veganism.

Fegans= Females in their 30s,40s and 50s who are vegan because it really adds on that extra amount of femininity to their womaness.

Veguns= both men and women in their late 20s (but can be of many ages) who eschew animal products for a wide variety of reasons, but just don't know how to spell very well.

Pegans= Heathens who no longer believe in eating animals.

Tegans=First half of the identical twin sister Canadian indie band from Calgary who no longer eat animals but play guitars, write and sing songs mainly about meeting boys (maybe girls also) on the road who only care about meeting Sara.

Begans=the new face of veganism..Literally! Those who begin embracing a restrictive lifestyle the minute they begin life. Many start at conception however, some may start at birth or right upon exiting the womb whichever they believe comes first. There is ongoing heated and often rage filled internet arguments on when this type of veganism actually begins.

Chegans=Revolutionary marxist socialist hipster men in their late 20s early 30s who no longer eat animal products because of leftist communist trademark issues in regard to on going legal and illegal t-shirt copyright sales disputes.

Kegans=Men and women who no longer eat animal products while contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor.

Phegans=hegans (males in their 40s and 50s...well all men actually) who put a big capital P in front of their title as to make up for feelings of certain inadequacies.

i-Egans=People who follow a strict Apple only diet.

Regans=Philosophers who no longer eat subjects of a life yet will save a human over a dog if the life boat gets too crowded or sea gets a bit rough.

Indeed!

Mylène Ouellet said...

Here's a good piece about the number of writers who've been rolling their eyes over Pierce's story:

Globe's "Hegan" Piece Prompts Collective Headdesking

Tim Gier said...

I stopped eating red meat 10 years ago for me - for my health and, yes, for my weight. It was a diet.

But now I'm vegan because it is the only way I know of to do right by all sentient creatures. It is a life choice.

If that somehow doesn't comport with what others might think about me and who I should be, and about what gender roles I should play, it speaks volumes about them & nothing about me.