What does a vegan way of life mean today?

Today, the ‘vegan way of life’ is no longer the prerogative of a handful of activists, but a movement that is increasingly open and accessible. — AFP pic
Today, the ‘vegan way of life’ is no longer the prerogative of a handful of activists, but a movement that is increasingly open and accessible. — AFP pic

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NEW YORK, May 28 — Not so long ago, in many western countries, veganism was relatively rare and vegans were viewed as “original” and “different.” Today, the “vegan way of life” is no longer the prerogative of a handful of activists, but a movement that is increasingly open and accessible. We unpack the evolution with Alexis Garcia, founder of culture v, a French magazine devoted to this ethical lifestyle.

Alexis Garcia has been vegan for 10 years. He is also a graphic designer. He wanted to create a magazine where people could talk about vegan culture, open to everyone and without making anyone feel guilty. And his bet has paid off. The result of his efforts is culture v, an elegant, intelligent and accessible bi-annual publication.

What is the vegan way of life of today?

Firstly, it’s about reconciling everyday life with veganism. Because yes, it is easy to be vegan in our everyday lives. There are many bridges to be built between people. It’s not just an urban thing, or a youth thing. We can reconcile rural and urban, young and old. With culture v, I’m trying to get away from the supposedly radical dimension of the movement. We try to take a step back, to communicate information in a calm way and to see how we can convince people that it is an easy way of life, an enjoyable philosophy and way of living.

Are we witnessing a kind of revenge of vegans?

I don’t think it’s about revenge. I think people understand that it’s not just a ‘fashion’ of the times, and that compassion for animals is accessible to everyone. You can see that it translates largely in terms of products. It’s a way of inserting ourselves into people’s daily lives, into their consumption, but without upsetting them. It’s their choice, it’s just something that we propose to them. It’s no longer just about chickpeas and lentils. The products are super innovative and involve significant financial resources, expertise and technology. This sometimes requires millions and millions of euros and dollars, for instance when it comes to synthetic meat. We’re about a form of veganism that is linked to innovation. I find it quite fascinating: multiple forms of veganism, natural or innovative. We’re really in the future.

So will we all be vegans in the future?

The path to veganism is above all an individual choice. I am in favour of education and political support, for every aspect from farmers to canteens. We can’t ask everyone to choose this. It’s a desire but does not yet exist. At least for now.

This interview has been edited and translated from French. — ETX Studio

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