I mentioned Hucksters in my vegan taxonomy but forgot to mention another type (again not confirmed but heavily suspected). This type of huckster has…. covert sponsorship. There is a broad campaign with obvious money behind it to promote plant exclusive foods. Part of it might be pharma (for those pricey supplements that vegans need) but that’s not all of it. The idea that it’s just a way to charge people more money for inferior food is there but I don’t have all the pieces worked out.
A fair number of prominent vegan ‘activists’ seem to spend a lot of time living in a variety of countries and/or going on extensive ‘outreach’ tours (like over a month or so in various European countries). Traveling is expensive and a vegan diet is expensive (if you want to avoid malnutrition) and with no other visible means of support beyond social media ads and/or some merch then…. yeah, they’re being sponsored.
That doesn’t mean they’re not sincere (if neurotic) and if they were open about the sponsorship it would sit a bit better. It would be nice to know just who is pushing this unappealing diet and lifestyle so hard lately.