Last November, in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Al Gore was “outed” in a Forbes article as being vegan. Wrote staffer Ryan Mac of the former vice president, “Newly turned vegan Al Gore is also circling.” (The offhand comment was seemingly added casually, in reference to Hampton Creek,™ an innovative technology company pioneering “to make the egg obsolete,” which was at that time looking to raise millions in capital. The San Francisco-based brand’s debut product, an eggless mayonnaise simply titled Just Mayo, is available in Whole Foods Markets nationwide, with much more to come.)
While the startup venture is itself well worth paying attention to, it had long been garnering—and continues to garner—major and ample media exposure. Gore being vegan?! Until that piece was published, no one had heard a peep about the “Inconvenient Truth” author’s preference for plant-based cuisine. At least not anyone willing to spill.
And with that, the word spread like wildfire, social platforms aflutter with tweets and status updates heralding the fantastic news—including a newly minted Twitter handle to commemorate the momentous occasion. (We were pretty much thinking it was about time the vocal environmentalist aligned his habits with the earth. Like, duh?)
Now, for the first time since that passing utterance, Gore has come forward and spoken publicly, confirming he is indeed vegan. And loving it. In an exclusive interview with Medscape Editor-in-Chief Eric Topol, MD, which went live online yesterday, the politician made it crystal clear that meat, dairy and eggs are off the table. And we couldn’t be more thrilled.
“I know you’ve been on a vegan kick,” Topol offered, as part of a broader question, which for our purposes we’ll bypass quoting. To this Gore responded:
“Over a year ago I changed my diet to a vegan diet, really just to experiment to see what it was like. And I felt better, so I continued with it. Now, for many people, that choice is connected to environmental ethics and health issues and all that stuff, but I just wanted to try it to see what it was like. In a visceral way, I felt better, so I’ve continued with it and I’m likely to continue it for the rest of my life.”
Color us proud that Gore took a cue, this cue, from former president Bill Clinton, joining throngs around the world who’ve eschewed eating animal products. This is a spectacular step that anyone can take and it’s no surprise that people in power are adopting the healthy habit. It’s empowering! Individuals have so little control over most aspects their lives (and, for that matter, the planet’s goings-on), but what we put in and on our bodies is 100% up to us. No one makes us consume crap. That’s our own doing.
So, that Gore has with this transition joined fellow movers-and-shakers (from ex-presidents to athletes, business moguls to real estate tycoons, rock stars to Hollywood darlings) is nothing short of spectacular. Let’s hope he forever “feels better” on a vegan diet (we don’t doubt that he will, unless he subsists on French fries and Oreos) and dines this way “for the rest of” his life. Given Gore’s global influence and access, as a leader he is perfectly poised to inspire others to try life without a heaping side of horror and hypocrisy. And ideally this shift will further advance the vegan conversation. President Obama, are you listening?
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