I didn't realize that veganism had a founder.
But now, he's dead.
I guess I should have realized that it had a founder. Everything has a founder, right? That whole original genius thing --- the Enlightenment, we're all about it, right? Or was that the Romantics. Anyway, Donald Watson died at the reasonable age of 95.
As with many things, being the founder of something may actually mean being the one who came up with the word for it. Despite the fact that I've been vegan for a good long time now, I have given exactly zero minutes of thought to wondering where the word "vegan" came from. Here's my answer:
The word vegan he took from the front and back end of "vegetarian", expressing his belief that this new, absolutist diet was in fact the first impulse and the final destination of the vegetarian journey. He asked for other suggestions, and "dairyban", "vitan", "benevore", "sanivore" and "beaumangeur" were offered, but most of the 25 members were happiest with vegan.
I like it. I'm also quite happy I don't have to end the sentence that starts with "I'm a" with any of those other words. I've thought previously that I didn't like "vegan" all that much because it sounded too much like "vulcan" --- people have actually flashed me the Spock --- but now I feel a lot better about it.
So, thanks, Mr. Watson.
On a side note, the article says, "His wife predeceased him" (emphasis mine). I've never heard that term before either.
Let's use something similar in a sentence. Boing Boing preposted me on this.