In this Huffington Post article, Ed Coffin looks at the often-cited health benefits of following a plant-based diet. Coffin makes an interesting argument that following a plant-based diet for health reasons, while laudable, does not make you a vegan. Veganism “represents a larger ideology that defines a commitment to opposing the use and exploitation of animals. Vegans don’t eat animals, but they also don’t wear them, visit places that enslave them, or in any other way participate in the commodification of animals as much as humanly possible.” Coffin’s article is particularly relevant, given the media attention that has been given of late to celebrities who gave up what they called veganism, for a variety of reasons. As Coffin argues, “The fact is, they were never vegan in the first place. They were simply consuming a plant-based diet and their only commitment was to their own personal health, which is why it’s that much easier to give it up. When people are committed to living a lifestyle in accordance to principles that extend beyond oneself, it makes turning back much less likely.” While I respect people’s reasons for adopting a plant-based diet, like Coffin I believe that true veganism is motivated and driven by ethical, rather than dietary, reasons.