Decades following the publication of Australian philosopher Peter Singer's landmark treatise Animal Liberation, which prompted dozens (some say even hundreds) of morally-conscious Americans to adopt a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons, experts have reported a marked upsurge in a radical new trend known as unethical veganism - that is, veganism motivated out of entirely selfish concerns, or even animal hatred.
Who are these unethical vegans, and what makes them tick? To find out, researchers combed the streets of Manhattan, where rates of unethical veganism reportedly now exceed those of even the wildly popular Paleo Diet (including the gluten-free variety).
Alison Adler, an accountant and self-identified unethical vegan, explained, "I can't stand dogs and cats, let alone farm animals. I mean, come on - they're nasty! And I don't want billions of them anywhere in my immediate vicinity, even if they're completely hidden from view. You do realize that some of those factory-farm superbugs are airborn?"
Adler says that she hopes that by avoiding consuming the flesh of cows, pigs, poultry, and other animals, she'll help dissuade animal agribusinesses from continuing to breed these animals, ultimately leading to a substantial decrease in their numbers.
"Honestly," she confessed, voice lowered, "I wouldn't even mind if they went extinct."
Another unethical vegan, Dr. Kip Larsen, a cardiac surgeon in Tribeca, shares Adler's aversion to large, filthy farm beasts, but, unlike Adler, says that he doesn't particularly wish them ill. "I don't mind them being around," he professed. "Just as long as I don't have to look at them."
So why does Dr. Larsen refrain from eating meat, dairy and eggs?
The answer, he says, is simply good business.
"As a cardiologist, it would be pretty embarrassing if I got heart disease. I have a reputation to protect! And I don't want to lose any patients - well, that is, any business."
Chuckling, he clarified, "If I lose a few patients to heart attacks, that actually increases demand for my services. So I don't really have a problem with them eating animal foods and processed junk. But if I were to develop cardiac issues, that would be another story. That could seriously impair my credibility! And I'm still building my practice. I can't take that risk."
Another sector of the population among whom rates of unethical veganism have soared is fitness-obsessed Americans, like 24-year-old yoga instructor Danielle Smythe, who says that she is extremely particular about what she puts in the temple that is her body. "Keep in mind, in the moments before they're slaughtered, these animals are flooded with terror, causing a massive surge in cortisol and other stress hormones." She shuddered visibly. "Do you know how horrible that stuff is to ingest?"
And perhaps the quintessential unethical vegan is 49-year-old Christan Carver, an admitted sex addict who enjoys using flattery and deception to manipulate women (and the occasional adolescent) into having sexual relations with him. "Bill Clinton's always been a hero of mine," said Carver. "Until he changed his diet to mostly plant-based, I hadn't even realized that unethical veganism was an option."
He grinned and nodded smugly toward his groin. "My meathead buddies are already starting to have problems with erectile dysfunction - whereas my A-number-one tool never operates at anything less than full capacity! And I intend to keep it that way."
Carver is not alone in looking to Bill Clinton as a role model; indeed, many consider the former president the unofficial spokesperson for the unethical vegan movement. Clinton himself, however, expressly rejects that label.
"I'm not actually vegan," he stated.