This is a question I've asked myself, not because I don’t care about celebrities going vegan, but because I’m surprised to find that I do. I've never really understood the fascination with celebrities in our culture. Why is someone interesting just because their job is to act, or to sing, or to throw a ball? That tells you nothing about their character or worth as a person. (And don’t even get me started on people who are famous for being famous.) So why do we care?
Well, there is the influence factor. I’d like to think that most vegans actually care about every person who goes vegan; I know I do. But if I tell everyone about my mother-in-law’s friend going vegan, is it going to have the same effect on people as telling them about Bill Clinton? Which is more likely to make a non-vegan look twice at the benefits of a vegan lifestyle? Deserved or not, celebrities’ opinions and actions hold weight in our culture, so every celebrity who goes vegan is a vote of confidence for veganism in the public eye.
But I’d argue that, unlike fame itself, a celebrity going vegan does tell you something about their character. It tells you that they are concerned about health, animals or the environment. It tells you that they can embrace change, take on a challenge, be courageous enough to examine their learned behaviors and make a different choice. And that seems like a pretty good reason to care.
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