Veganism isn’t like Facebook. No kidding, you say, veganism is a moral imperative (as if we know what that means) while Facebook is the latest internet craze (that one day soon will fade, as crazes almost always do). But that is the point.
Facebook went from a college dorm room to nearly worldwide adoption in 8 years. There are now supposedly 1 Billion Facebook subscribers. The idea – as well as the use of the site – spread like wildfire. One might be tempted to say that it was an idea whose time had come. Or, and what is more likely, whatever confluence of events and opportunities emerged to make Facebook possible simply just happened and there is no way to explain it. As it’s recent stock performance surely shows, there is no way to predict it.
Veganism isn’t going to spread like wildfire. It isn’t the case that the argument for why a person ought to be vegan is so compelling that anyone who hears it and understands it will have little choice but to adopt the practice. Were it the case, then in the 70 or so years since the word vegan was coined, veganism would claim much more than 1 or 2 % of the world’s population it does as among its adherents.
No, veganism is not like Facebook, and the world won’t be vegan if you want it.
People don’t become vegan because they reason that being vegan is the logical or moral thing to do. The few people who do become vegan, for the most part, become vegan because it simply feels wrong for them not to be. Getting people who aren’t vegan to feel the things that vegans feel is probably an impossible task; it’s not like asking people to try Facebook. Even if it were, I suspect that in 10 years time we’ll all look back on the phenomena that is Facebook and wonder why we all thought it so revolutionary. Like MySpace and AOL before it, Facebook will become the idea whose time has gone. People won’t feel like using it anymore. Most people won’t ever feel like being vegan – there won’t ever be a worldwide vegan craze – it’s faded out before it’s ever begun.