Friday, July 24, 2015

Veganism, Year Seven and Beyond

by Neil H. Buchanan

Seven years ago today, I published a post here on Dorf on Law describing why I had decided to become a vegan.  Each year since then, I have written what I now call my "veganniversary" post, discussing some aspect of veganism.  Last year's post (here) contains links to all previous veganniversary posts.

As I described in last year's post, my general approach has been to leave the academic and philosophical discussions of veganism to Professors Colb and Dorf, whose forthcoming book (soon to be announced on this blog) amply demonstrates their mastery of the intellectual issues raised by veganism.  I have, instead, focused on what it is like to live life as a vegan, often discussing other people's fears and concerns about veganism, and so forth.

I also examine how veganism is treated in popular culture, noting the increasing acceptance of veganism in our society, but also gnashing my teeth at the insistently ignorant dismissals of veganism by people who otherwise surely think of themselves as quite progressive.  A good example of the latter is an article in the Style Section of The New York Times this past May, in which the writer could barely contain her contempt for veganism.  I will not go into detail here, but one can easily infer the writer's attitude from statements like this one: "Making cumin-and-turmeric-flecked Baba’s Kidney Beans a go-to meal wasn’t originally Beyonc√© or Jay Z’s idea."  Sheesh.

In any case, readers will note that the title of today's post is "Veganism, Year Seven and Beyond."  My plan at this point is to discontinue my veganniversary posts, mostly because I have already said many times, in many different ways, all that really needs to be said: Being a vegan is easy (and certainly easier than I thought it would be), healthy, good for the environment, and most importantly, ethical.

I will surely have occasion to write vegan-related posts at other times of the year, as news warrants.  At this point, however, an annual count seems to miss the point.  This is, as it should be, a permanent thing.  No need to keep counting.