08 March 2010

Nice thought Rich Karlgaard but sorry you are not a vegan

Forbes magazine publisher and purported herbivore, Rich Karlgaard, recently wrote an article titled “Rise Up, Vegan Republicans!” that appeared on Huffingtonpost.com. Unfortunately his call to his “fellow” vegan GOP brethren should be taken with a grain of salt, considering he isn’t really a vegan.

In the piece, Karlgaard details his transformation from omnivore to an “almost” vegan and the fantastic health benefits that followed. It’s a nice story complete with weight loss and a significant drop in blood pressure. Additionally, he attempts to shatter the myth that conservative men are meat eaters that believe anything less than a plate full of flesh is downright unpatriotic.

Here’s the problem, he admits that he indulges in meaty dishes at dinner time and since he is on the road 200,000 miles each year he is unable to adhere to a strict vegan menu. The following passage is an excerpt from his article in which he explains his typical daily “almost” vegan diet, this one is filed under “Dinner.”

“Here is where I abandon a purely vegan diet and enjoy whatever food my wife and I decide to cook. Usually it's a variant of some Mediterranean dish. We've learned to enjoy smaller portions of meat and bigger heapings of vegetables on top of noodles made of spinach or wheat.”

Now let us take a look at the term vegan as defined by Merriam-Webster:

Pronunciation: \ˈvē-gən also ˈvā- also ˈve-jən or -ˌjan\
Function: noun
Etymology: by contraction from vegetarian
Date: 1944
: a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather)

Saying your “almost” vegan while still consuming meat is like saying you are almost Christian except for that part about Christ.

While Mr. Karlgaard makes his best attempt at breaking through stereotypes, he did nothing more than reinforce the very cliché many people subscribe to--a male Republican that is out of touch with reality.

Sir I commend you for making a healthy lifestyle decision but please leave the vegan portion out of your argument, heck you’re not even a vegetarian. Try flexitarianism, it is a much better label for your health conscious transformation.

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Photo Credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/oberazzi