Meet your new ruling class overlords: The Power Vegans  »

Businessweek informs us of an important new trend among CEOs in our ruling class elite: they’re going vegan. Already bored of private jets and trophy wives, these wealthy and powerful men (yes, just men) are looking to veganism to remind the rest of us down here exactly how wealthy and powerful they are. Veganism, you see, is the new status symbol, available only to those who can afford such luxuries with such exotic names like “tofurkey” or “rice and beans.”

Or so Businessweek says. The truth is probably much more mundane than that. If 1 percent of America is vegan, well statistically speaking, that should include 1 percent of CEOs. OK, so Steve Wynn, John Mackey and Biz Stone are vegan, but of that group, Mackey and Stone were vegan before finding their success. So where’s the trend?

If anything, the wealthy business community is going the opposite direction, by riding the Ayn Rand wave that’s been sweeping the (wealthy/white) nation since Day 1 of Obama’s presidency. Fantasizing over “going Galt” is just the gateway drug to social Darwinism, and by extension, dietary Darwinism: the conceit that we must dominate and eat captive animals to prove that humans are always and forever “the fittest.”

I suppose we should be thankful for any positive mainstream media coverage on veganism, but really, it would be great to knock it off with the “men who choose veganism do so for manly masculine reasons, such as power! and strength! and display of riches to attract a suitable mate to bear our male heirs!” message. Whether it’s “hegans” or “power vegans,” all these attempts to rebrand veganism for men (for manly masculine men) just come off as defensive.

Or like we’re over-compensating. Because everyone knows that cooking food and other maternal things, like fussing over cute little animals, is and should always remain the province of women and their ovaries. Never mind that the choice to go vegan is nearly always one of both reason and emotion: “we just don’t have enough land and water to keep eating like this”/”torturing animals in factories is depressing and horrific”— thoughts that are equally available in the healthy brains of both genders.

It’s hard to say what this made-up-the-night-before-deadline trend piece is for, other than to annoy vegan bloggers, delight Ingrid Newkirk, and get Joel Stein paid. No one reads Businessweek after all, unless they’re stuck waiting in a dentist’s office for more than 20 minutes. But if idolizing rich and powerful men is what it takes to peel away a handful of new vegans, then I guess we’ll take it. I’m especially looking forward to my review copy of the Power Vegan Cookbook. It’s amazing what you can whip up if you keep your kitchen pantry stocked with personal chefs and an American Express Centurion Card.

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