You pack a lot information and thoughtful observations into a small essay with elegantly simple prose.
One of the concerns I have with the "Why did you go vegan?" question is that the final straw is seldom the only one or even the heaviest one. I went vegan on 4/4/04, after seeing the Chicago premier of Peaceable Kingdom at a Farm Sanctuary conference. To get to the Farm Sanctuary conference, I first had to read Michael Pollan's NYT piece, "An Animal's Place", almost two years earlier. This led me to Matthew Scully's Dominion, which led me to Farm Sanctuary. I'd guess that when most people answer the question of why they went vegan, they're thinking of the final straw, and not necessarily the as-important or the more-important ones that came before.
I was just having that very same thought in reviewing survey data. Without considering other and perhaps larger straws following the final straw to guide our advocacy could be misleading.
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