Julie Rosenfield

My journal


Scientists have announced today that when it comes to veganism, humans may actually have a genetic predisposition to being vegan.
Professor Frank Solo of the Berkeley Institute, California made the exciting discovery earlier this year while carrying out a study on Veganism and DNA Methylation in 1,700 vegans .*
The mutant gene – known as VEG0104 – was discovered in over 82% of the participants, explained Professor Solo.
People who carried this gene were also found to have high levels of compassion, empathy with animals, an interest in health and a concern for the environment. Another factor, one of the study’s researchers Dr A. Day noted, was a greater-than-average interest in cake. Vegan cake, of course.
While a predisposition to becoming vegan may be something we’re born with, it can be something which can be switched on and off during certain important times. Watching videos such as The Animals, Forks Over Knives, Vegucated and PlanEat for instance, were found expressly to switch the vegan gene on or just surrounding oneself with like-minded people, such as at one of the many Vegan Meetups around the world, can have the same effect.
Someone who is really switched on then is Al Gore who recently converted to veganism. “Over a year ago I changed my diet to a vegan diet, really just to experiment to see what it was like,” he says. “And I felt better, so I continued with it.”
Other celebrities believed to carry the VEG0104 vegan gene include Moby, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway and Joaquin Phoenix.
If this is true, then it may mean that humans were meant to be vegans all along and that the gene has only been switched off because of peer and family pressure and lack of knowledge.
All of which is great news for the many vegans around the world. It appears then like Bruce Springstreen’s song, maybe we really are “Born this way.”

If you think veganism might be in your genes, you can find out more at http://www.vegansociety.com or if you’re in London, come along and join us at http://www.meetup.com/londonvegan/ or check out your own local vegan group at http://www.meetup.com.

*A genome-wide association study identifies VEG0104 as a susceptibility locus for veganism in adults and children.
Solo, Frank; Day, A
Natural Genetics
14 (14-41)
Published online 1/4/14



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  1. OK April Fools, I know, but did you know there really might exist a compassion gene?

    This is one of several articles I found about it:

    Many a true word spoken in jest it seems!

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