Vegan-ism — Trendy Lifestyle or New Age Religion?

Posted on May 23, 2012


Recently I was asked the following question by a very sincere follower of the Vegan life style:  “What does Vegan-ism have to do with religion”?  Apparently this friend was being ostracized by others in her circle for seeming to replace her commitment to previous religious values with inordinate zeal for Vegan-ism. Normally I would not have chosen to make comment one way or another about her choice, but because she asked, I responded with the following:  { Instead of adopting an actual religion, such as Christianity, the Vegan tends to make their diet into their religion.Vegan-ism serves the same purpose in this respect as an actual religion, in that it offers the faithful a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. When Vegan-ism becomes someone’s religion, it gives them a sense of holiness and superiority towards others. Food is the paradoxical object of faith that gives meaning to life. Anyone who is outside this circle of faith must necessarily be “shown the light”. Vegan-ism would probably come closer to being defined as a sociological cult, rather than a true religion. }  I am sure there are those who could give a more complete answer to my friend’s question and I am also certain that there are those who would vehemently challenge my answer to her.  I think the question is worth asking, is Vegan-ism just a trendy lifestyle choice, or does it have cultic religious overtones?  I would love to hear some differing views from others who have insight concerning this issue.