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2018 Was the Year Veganism Lost Its Status as a Moral Signifier

It's clear that veganism is fracturing as it grows. In broad strokes, this looks like a minority of pious vegans and an increasing number of vegans who just get on with it, happy with their vegan cheese and fake chicken nuggets.

HANNA EWANS: ‘Veganism as a word, a concept, shed much of its loadedness exceptionally quickly. Its public image has undergone a vast transformation over the past few years… No one asks why you’re vegan anymore. It was previously a question people needed answering before moving forward in their conversation with you: What necessitates this aggressive lifestyle choice? Do you believe animals shouldn’t be used for food? Or that your carbon footprint should be reduced? Or are you just a hipster, substituting a personality for a plant-based diet?…

What this evolution means is that, for the first time ever – for those in their thirties and under, at least – veganism holds little moral weight. It doesn’t signify all that much, not restraint or control or sacrifice. It doesn’t mark you out as any “sort” of person or part of any subculture – or even holding any particular beliefs, although you might… It’s clear that veganism is fracturing as it grows. In broad strokes, this looks like a minority of pious vegans and an increasing number of vegans who just get on with it, happy with their vegan cheese and fake chicken nuggets…

Veganism doesn’t feel like it has to stand for something these days – in the UK, at least, the “fight” has largely been won. You have all your replacement products, your vegan restaurants and cafés; people don’t necessarily view animal products as an essential part of a diet; your mates and girlfriend are doing the “vegan thing”… Look for it and you’ll notice the evidence of this every day, particularly if you’re a long time vegan or vegetarian… Why are you a vegan?’ SOURCE…

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