« previous post | next post »

You've met the femivores, now "Meet the Hegans".


  1. tedcito said,

    March 24, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

    As both a male and a vegan for quite some time now, this whole heganism thing is news to me. Though, I always did suspect "vegan" of being a gendered concept antithetical to masculinity. At long last! I can finally embrace and cultivate my masculine roots.

  2. Humbert Humbert said,

    March 24, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

    This doesn't even make any sense! Why do male vegans need a special name? There seems to be a trend of giving everything a dumb portmanteau of a label.

  3. Nathan Myers said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 1:43 am

    I guess I count as a hegan. My question for nons who insist animals are meant to be eaten is, if we weren't equally well meant to eat other people, why do they all taste like pork?

    I predict a short and ignominious life for this word.

  4. tudza said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 2:41 am

    Animals are meant to be eaten? I'm not sure what that means.

    Next time you run across a cougar out in the wild, you let me know what he thinks.

    My vote, no on the continued use of hegan. 'Course, I dislike using Google as a verb.

  5. Sili said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 7:02 am

    Interesting. They can't be longlived. As I recall grains and fruit come from the female of the species in most cases. What does that leave? Tubers?

  6. Nick Lamb said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 7:58 am

    "if we weren't equally well meant to eat other people, why do they all taste like pork?"

    I haven't tried human flesh, but I should like to do so and several people I know feel the same. We all await affordable "vat-grown" human tissues. Killing a person in order to taste human flesh would violate my system of ethics, and people who volunteer to be eaten in the event of a fatal accident and whose successors in interest agree to go through with it are very rare indeed. Eating dead humans who were ill is a bad idea for obvious reasons.

    Personally I'm comfortable with "cannibal", but other people might prefer to coin a new term for this practice if it ever took off in a big way.

  7. Bob said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 8:06 am

    When I first saw the word in the title of the post, before learning its meaning, I assumed it would be pronounced [HAY-gn]. Not sure why I though that. Maybe because of its resemblance to "Hegel"?

  8. Zubon said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 8:35 am

    Maybe because of its resemblance to "Hegel"?

    So "femivore" is the thesis, "hegan" is the antithesis, and ___ is the synthesis?

  9. Jorge said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 9:21 am


  10. Paul said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 9:22 am

    How odd. Logically, veganism (or at least a low-meat diet) is more masculine than feminine, so the novel coinage should be shegan.

    Due to menstruation, women need more iron (readily found in red meat) than men, and excess iron in the male diet can cause heart problems. Therefore, the practice of eschewing meat is inherently Manly.

    As a male vegetarian with a meat-eating partner, I have long referred to meat as "girl's food".

  11. Amy West said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 9:30 am

    Arrrggh! You all beat me to it! I was hoping to post this on ADS-L.

    At least here's a link to the original Boston Globe story:


  12. Mark P said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 9:33 am

    I also thought it would be "hay-gan". I guess I'm slow this morning (and most other times) so "he" didn't occur to me. I think this coinage is misstamped, so it will probably be quite valuable at a later date.

  13. Jeff DeMarco said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 11:48 am

    Seems to me there is a resonance between the concepts of "animals being meant to be eaten"/"animals *not* being meant to be eaten" with prescriptivism. As in language, these are things that simply happen in an evolutionary way. The human body has adapted to the eating of animals evolutionarily due to their relative availability. As in language, this evolution is ongoing and could (probably will) change based on what people actually do. There may be fallout along the way – people dying, failing to thrive and the suchlike – but that's the nature of the beast!

  14. empty said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    So "femivore" is the thesis, "hegan" is the antithesis, and ___ is the synthesis?

    This is new territory, where diet meets dialectic. I'm pretty sure that many femivores and hegans would object to synthetic food.

  15. Will said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

    I am also confused about the term. My first thought was actually, "Hmm, I wonder what the H could be short for?"–The term is so stupid that the combination of he + vegan didn't even come up as an initial contender in my mind. Maybe it's because theoretically it never occurred to me that anyone would consider "vegan" a gendered term, or maybe it's because anecdotally 3/4 of the vegans I've met have been men. Or maybe it's because I myself was once a vegan for several years, and could never see myself having identified with the term "hegan".

  16. tudza said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    T-shirt slogan coming on….

    "I'm a megan, bite me"

  17. Horst said,

    March 25, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    You misunderstand. Look at the photo. We hegans prefer male-shaped vegetables. Hegetables. Hegetables aren't meant for eating. Use your imagination.

  18. Trimegistus said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 8:29 am

    I love how the linked article basically admits there are no real facts other than "I saw a guy buying vegetables once" but the name "Hegan" is so fabulous they're going to call it a trend whether it exists or not. That's PROFESSIONAL journalism!

  19. Ermintrude said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

    What English lacks is a good single (unhyphenated) word for a meat eater who only eats meat from animals killed by others; and then only if that meat has been substantially and repeatedly processed by others before consumption.

    Carnivore does not really fit — that suggests a far more active and hands-on involvement with the animal.

    Carrionvore would be closer.

  20. spudly said,

    March 26, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

    We have several words for people who only eat meat killed by others. Women, children, lame.

  21. Robert said,

    March 27, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    @ Nathan Myers

    Flanders and Swann already said "If the Juju had meant us not to eat people, he wouldn't have made us of meat".

  22. Private Zydeco said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    Unless one construes what may be called divine
    mandate and salubrious behaviour as necessarily
    conflated in the idea of what should or shouldn't
    be done (and the first is, arguably, not always on
    par with the second) any doctrine which contends
    either way that one should or shouldn't eat meat
    (humans being the chief agent of concern in the
    question of human behaviour, i.e. ethics) the matter
    isn't reducible to proscription alone. Be it secular
    or orthodoxically institutional, belief has its merit
    in reasoning. Inconsistency does not discriminate.

    That is to say, a lot of genuinely valid data exists
    that discredit the eating of meat, in terms of the
    practice being of high coincidence with cases of
    colon cancer and other types of terminal diseases
    which, like cancer, are expensive to treat and pain-
    ful to suffer. Peter Singer offers this up cogently as
    one of many talking points in his endorsement of
    a Beef Taxes in Australia and elsewhere. The cruel
    truth is, eating meat kills, veganism IS healthiest
    if it's done right, and the inefficiency of carni/omni-
    vorism in terms of agro-economics is staggerting.

  23. Private Zydeco said,

    March 30, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

    …and THAT is just riddled with type-o's.
    Such a rough several years it has been.
    Apologies again, general reader & Mods.

  24. Private Zydeco said,

    April 7, 2010 @ 12:57 am

    Here is a link to* Singer's latest book, which he co-authored
    with another fellow named Jim Mason, who is a lawyer and,
    along with Singer, an investigative journalist. In it are dis-
    cussed the many ramifications of human diet in present-day
    times, and the repercussions which it is the authors' belief
    that everybody ought to be cautioned on and mindful about
    avoiding whilst making a rounds to the grocer or dining out.

    * a review of

RSS feed for comments on this post