He-gan woman-haters club!  »

Megan Rascal here, on the lexical beat. Last week, the Boston Globe presented us with a new word: Hegan. Yeah, it’s what it sounds like, “he + vegan = hegan.” They define it as “men in their 40s and 50s embracing a restrictive lifestyle to look better, rectify a gluttonous past, or cheat death.” This sounds like hegans are vain middle-aged men who don’t care about animals. Hey, to each his own, I’m glad more oldbros are going vegan, regardless of the reasons. However, the definition seems a little jerky, no? Maybe their reasons are a little more deep than that. Or like they’re more mature now, and that has influenced their lifestyle and the choices they make. Also, while I have to admit I consider veganism a restrictive diet, why is it a restrictive lifestyle? Like we’re celibate or something.

They interview some all-American tough guy* who ran into health problems in his forties and “On the advice of his childhood friend Brian Rothwell, a yoga instructor and lifelong vegan, McCain cut meat, dairy, eggs, chicken, and fish from his diet and added power vinyasa yoga.” Say what?! Mr. Tough Guy has a yoga instructor BFF? Maybe he’s not the average Joe America they paint him as after all.

While I like this term—or rather this article—more than the femivore piece, it’s still fucking lame. I don’t like that they’re separating these men from the general vegan population. It’d be more beneficial for the vegan public image if these nouveaux vegans are considered part of the overall fabric of veganism. In reality, vegans are a diverse group, no? Some people love to reduce and simplify us and our motives but I declare: that’s whack! We all have different reasons, different opinions, etc. so why should we segregate these men who have wised up and come to the vegan side a little later in life? Hegan just sounds like a joke and this article is totally portraying these men as this funny cultural oddity.

Another issue I have with this, and boys please weigh in, is that it kind of implies that all the males who’ve been vegan forever are wussies, or nonexistent. Like why not pay a little lip service to why other men are vegan if hegans are such a new and distinct thing?

I’m all for noting and exploring new cultural trends, but when you make up a name for something, you pull it out and separate it from all things non-hegan. What do y’all think? There were several dudes who took issue with the satirical song about vegan boys, and I’d like to know where they stand on this: is it a step in the right direction because it’s butching up the image of the male vegan; is it totally a slap in the face? Or, you know, none of the above?

*I’m not trying to pigeonhole this dude, this is the impression I think we are supposed to draw from the article: this is the all-American weekend warrior who you’d just never guess was vegan. OMG never.

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