Why Bill Clinton Is Veganism's No. 1 Buddy

PETA pick shows need for 'indulgent' vegans
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2010 5:35 PM CST
Why Bill Clinton Is Veganism's No. 1 Buddy
Former US President and UN special envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton speaks during a news conference at a U.N. base in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday Dec. 15, 2010.   (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

Most people snickered when PETA named Bill Clinton its person of the year, but it was a genius pick, writes Mary Elizabeth Williams on Salon. Most people also know the benefits of veganism, but what it lacks is a guy who can make it "seem realistic, accessible and, frankly, pretty damn good-looking." That's what Clinton provides: In a Nixon-goes-to-China sort of way, only the guy who genuinely loves a Big Mac can recommend veganism to hardline carnivores.

Besides Clinton's own health reasons for dropping meat and dairy—the acute desire to avoid another heart bypass surgery among them—his example as a reformed hedonist shows that veganism isn't about deprivation as much as it is about delicious veggies. "He's a guy who always liked food, who still likes food," Williams writes. "He can talk about forgoing dairy products without making it look like he's gritting his teeth through some joylessly strict regime." (More Bill Clinton stories.)

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