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The Rise of the Power Vegans

[Businessweek]

Steve Wynn, Russell Simmons, Bill Clinton and a comparable cast of heavies are now using tempeh to assert their superiority. A look at what gives ... It used to be easy for moguls to flaunt their power. All they had to do was renovate the chalet in St. Moritz, buy the latest Gulfstream (GD) jet, lay off 5,000 employees, or marry a much younger Asian woman. By now, though, they've used up all the easy ways to distinguish themselves from the rest of us--which may be why a growing number of America's most powerful bosses have become vegan. Steve Wynn, Mort Zuckerman, Russell Simmons, and Bill Clinton are now using tempeh to assert their superiority. As are Ford Executive Chairman of the Board Bill Ford (F), Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, venture capitalist Joi Ito, Whole Foods Market (WFMI) Chief Executive Officer John Mackey, and Mike Tyson. Yes, Mike Tyson, a man who once chewed on human ear, is now vegan. His dietary habit isn't nearly as impressive as that of Alec Baldwin, though, who has found a way to be both vegan and fat at the same time. ... Veganism's image, however, could still use some updating. While it remains associated with indie rock stars, such as Moby, and people with pixie haircuts, such as Ellen DeGeneres, it also counts among its newest converts ex-NBA star John Salley, Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, former National Hockey League brawler Georges Laraque, professional poker player Daniel Negreanu, and, less recently, pop star and amateur bodybuilder Madonna. Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial artist and vegan Luke Cummo says that he drinks his own urine.

And herein lies veganism's appeal to moguls: It affords them the opportunity to control their own health with the same manic id with which they control everything else. Wynn says his new diet has allowed him to get off Lipitor (PFE). Clinton's diet made him a fashion darling at his daughter's wedding this summer. "It's probably a good thing in a CEO," says Freston about veganism. "At least they won't be toppling over like those McDonald's (MCD) CEOs." This latest show of power, in other words, gives them all the more time to enjoy the Swiss chalet and the private jet.

-- full story:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/ content/10_46/b4203103862097.htm

Rise of Vegans - Cohen comments



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