FONC: A Vegan Typology

As I’ve mentioned before I love taxonomies as heuristic devices to help make sense of chaotic input. No one wanted or commented on my typology of those who live in countries they weren’t born in (though realizing that there are different motivations might help in the struggle to craft a less dysfunctional and broken system in many countries….).

I’m already read with a preliminary taxonomy for vegans (after watching/listening to a gazillion vegan/ex-vegan/anit-vegan videos. Enjoy!

Faddists – Get into veganism because they think the idea is cool or fashionable. Usually choose a weird and faddy and completely unsustainable diet like liquified kale and raspberry leaves (or six pounds of mangoes a day) and then get surprised when they get sick. They give it up when they fail to receive enough attention or positive reinforcement (making teary eyed videos in their never-ending and desperate search for attention).

Orthorexics – Use veganism (usually a weird unsustainable form) as cover for an eating disorder. They can starve themselves under cover of ethics. These people are mentally unwell and make themselves ill and if they have kids are liable to criminally under-nourish them. They tend to look like Death warmed over but try to convince themselves that they’re ‘detoxing’. If they’re female they try to convince themselves that loosing their hair and periods are signs of their bodies ‘healing’.

Neurotics – I mean this in the Big 5 sense to refer to those who tend to experience significantly more negative emotions than most people do. Ordinary facts of human existence (we kill animals and eat them) are unbearable for them. They tend to focus on slaughter house footage some of which is distressing and some of which they just don’t understand and find reasons to replay this over and over for themselves and other people. There’s probably an element of self-punishment going on but I don’t want to dwell on them.

Crusaders – In an earlier age these people would be missionaries bringing some ‘true’ faith to the heathens. They use veganism the way people use religion – to give their lives a sense of meaning and themselves a mission. They’re constantly involved in outreach and obsess about what other people eat (missionaries worry less about their own behavior than they do yours). They tend to be much healthier than the other groups and strive to maintain a semblance of human nutrition.

A lot of individual vegans seem to have features of more than one group. The Faddists and Orthorexics heavily overlap as do the Neurotics and Crusaders (and Neurotics and Orthorexics).

I might refine this later or I might not. A huge character flaw is that once I figure out something for myself I don’t necessarily want to inform other people about it. Now that I’ve reached this stage I’m starting to have feelings of closure for the time being.

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