Friday, March 26, 2010

Introducing Hegans! I guess I am one!

The Boston Globe has come up with a new word to add to the already overcrowded English language:

The Globe article describes a middle-aged Boston omnivore named Joe McCain who was overweight (topping the scales at 257) and feeling lousy much of the time. At the advice of a pal, McCain eliminated all foods containing animal products from his diet - meat, eggs, milk items, etc. etc. - and became a vegan. Thanks to a combination of veganism and yoga, McCain has lost sixty pounds. Apparently, he is part of a larger nationwide trend of middle-aged guys embracing veganism.

And all this time I thought - as a convert to veganism at age 41 - I was alone! I guess there are a lot of other thirtysomething and fortysomething dudes doing what I'm doing. I am not so unique after all, it seems...

Here is a quote from the Globe article:
The buff and bright-eyed McCain is the new face of veganism: men in their 40s and 50s embracing a restrictive lifestyle to look better, rectify a gluttonous past, or cheat death. They are hegans. They are healthy. And they are here to stay. While no one was looking, guys were stepping up to the wheatgrass bar. Famous hegans include “Spider-Man’’ Tobey Maguire and singer Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez was vegan for a few years but now eats seafood and chicken on occasion.
So watch out, North America. Hegans appear to be growing in number. If you don't believe me, has also taken note of the Hegan phenomenon. Once Hegans make it into Salon, we have found our express route to the dizzying heights of pop culture stardom. Salon says that our ranks include "cops and firefighters," and that we Hegans are men who aren't afraid to be seen "eating their veggies."

Silly stuff, to be sure. It is hard to say how many of these men are "Conscientious Hegans," which I suppose is what I am: Hegans who stopped eating animals due to the development of moral and ethical concerns about the rights of the animals that we spent most of our lives devouring. Moral Hegans, I guess you could call us. Or Mor-Hegans.

Perhaps some of the "Hegans by Convenience" will go back to eating animals (like the aforementioned Tony Gonzalez) once they've achieved whatever it was they set out to achieve. Who knows?

But at least our numbers are growing. Frankly, I don't give a damn why people become vegans. I just hope they stay vegans.

Whoops, I mean, er, uh, "Hegans."

Not to be confused with "Hegelians." Or "He-Man."

OK. I'll quit while I'm ahead.

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