More Than A Fad

Has anyone ever dismissed your veg choices as being part of some “fad”?  “Whatever, you’re just trying to be hip…”  It’s a great tactic for being defensive and in denial, but it doesn’t really hold up.

HIP!

With more and more visible celebrities and politicians proud of their plant-based lifestyles, I can see where one might get this impression of a “fad”.    According to a Harris Interactive poll (commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group), the number of vegans in the United States has doubled since 2009.  Cooking shows are earnestly showcasing vegan cuisine, and vegan cookbooks are being published at breakneck speeds. So there’s definitely something catching on.

But these ideas are not new.  Pythagoras (you know, that math guy) and his followers were very well known for their vegetarianism.  In the western world, the word “vegetarian” did not appear until the 19th century.  Up until that time, people who did not eat animals were known as “Pythagoreans”.

Throughout Asia and the Middle East, people have been finding moral and religious reasons to abstain from flesh for thousands of years.  Then there have been the people, throughout history and on into modernity, who did not animals, simply because it was not an available option.

Today there are as many reasons to go vegan as there are people who make that decision.  These reasons are not new.  This fad is not new.  It’s been a trend that has been building for thousands of years.  And as I see it, and idea whose time has come.

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