So the New York Times’s “Well” blogger Tara Parker-Pope and her daughter were inspired by Bill Clinton’s “vegan diet” to “go vegan”, and she wrote an article about it called “How to Go Vegan”. She doesn’t say why they are “going vegan”, which is more than a little strange. Based on the post, my best guess is they did it because they think Bill Clinton is cool and they want to be just like him.
Of course, Bill Clinton doesn’t actually follow a vegan diet (he admits as much), and I don’t think anyone’s ever claimed he avoids animal exploitation in non-dietary contexts.
To state that “going vegan” means simply following a vegan diet is to pretty much miss the point of veganism. Is Parker-Pope checking all her personal-care products to make sure they don’t contain animal ingredients? Is she getting bent out of shape by how hard it is to find lip balm without beeswax or lanolin? Is she agonizing over the flu vaccine being incubated in fertilized battery chicken eggs? Is she newly concerned with how to keep dry and warm all winter without leather, wool, or down? Doesn’t sound like it. But that’s what vegans do. And we do it for reasons other than celebrity worship, and for reasons beyond our own personal physical health. We do it for the sake of the animals we’re not exploiting.
So, OK, with all that out of the way, is this post a decent primer on switching to a vegan diet? Sort of. Continue Reading…