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Bresnahan, M., Zhuang, J., & Zhu, X. (2015). Why is the Vegan line in the dining hall always the shortest? Understanding Vegan Stigma. Stigma and Health, 1-13.

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Abstract

Two studies investigated why vegan stigma occurs and why people who eat meat are often unaccepting of vegans. Study 1 measured vegan stigma based on Link and Phelan’s (2001) model and proposed that the communal food hypothesis provides a partial explanation for vegan stigma. Study 1 revealed that labeling is the most salient dimension of vegan stigma, and being able to share food with others was important to participants which might explain why vegans are stigmatized. Study 2 explored how pro- and anti-vegan messages induced emotional response to veganism and the roles of argument strength and depth of message processing in perception of stigma. Study 2 found that anger and discomfort were strong moderators between messages, argument strength, and stigma response. Together these studies provide evidence to explain why vegans are stigmatized.
... Many people follow vegan diets that has led to the emergence of vegan restaurants (25,26), which are restaurants that do not serve animal products in their dishes or drinks (27); that is, all menu items are dairy-and meat-free, and no animal or animal by-products are used in the kitchen. However, veganism is a "life endeavor" or a series of "catalytic encounters" (10,28). Hirschler (29) found that social rejection and prejudicial interactions caused psychological distress to vegans. ...
... Nevertheless, as people have specific reasons to adopt veganism, they tend to prefer to visit vegan restaurants for health, nutrition, socializing, and to have a positive experience (31). Previous research found that the main motivations for choosing to eat at vegan restaurants were health and beauty (32)(33)(34), guilt (10,28,35), curiosity (10), and environmental concerns (36,37). ...
... Guilt is associated with the breaking of internal moral or religious rules (28,48) and can also be defined as the feelings of a person who has violated a moral standard and must bear the sanctions imposed by the breaking of that standard (49). Greenebum (37) found that some people had a sense of discomfort, guilt, and anxiety about animals being slaughtered for their food. ...
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Over the past decade, there has been an increased interest in veganismin several nations across the world. In 2021, there were around 79 million vegans. While veganism is growing, it still covers only 1% of the global population. But if the diet keeps its steady growth rate, it’s predicted to increase to one in 10 people within the next 10 years. However, in addition to the traditional, though poorly studied, multiple attributes ascribed to vegan restaurants, there may be other factors influencing the approach intentions of vegan restaurant customers.Within this context, this study investigated the psychological resilience associated with customer engagement (identification, enthusiasm, attention, absorption, and interaction) with the vegan movement for Korean vegan customers. The analysis was conducted using SPSS 22.0 and AMOS 22.0. The results revealed that numerous attributes ascribed to vegan restaurants positively affected customer engagement, especially identification, and strongly influenced psychological resilience as well. However, the identification customer engagement factor did not significantly affect the approach intentions of vegan restaurant customers. The study results suggested that when eliciting customer engagement to increase approach intentions toward vegan restaurants, it is necessary to emphasize customer psychological resilience, enthusiasm, attention, absorption, and interaction. This study contributes to food and consumer behavior literature on the approach intentions toward vegan restaurants.
... Food can also serve as a point of division and contention. If dietary differences preclude sharing food, this can create negative emotions and social distance which may feel especially uncomfortable if experienced between vegans and their non-vegan friends or family (Bresnahan et al., 2016;Cherry, 2015;Hirschler, 2011;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Vegans' dietary behaviors may be affected by such negative emotions and social distance (Jabs et al., 2000;Rosenfeld & Tomiyama, 2019); thus, the role of social relationships and social interactions should also be explored as key factors in the work on vegans' dietary lapses. ...
... In the vegan context, this means that high social identity recognition may influence vegans to largely define themselves in opposition to non-vegans present in social situations, thus building social distance between them and non-vegans. However, a result of social distance may be emotional strain, especially if the distance is built between family or friends (Bresnahan et al., 2016;Cherry, 2015;Hirschler, 2011;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Ultimately, this strain may serve as a motivating factor to reduce distance and preserve social bonds. ...
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An interesting finding in the literature on vegetarianism and veganism finds that vegetarians and vegans often report that they deviate from their diets from time to time. Work examining this phenomenon finds that these dietary lapses relate to many factors; however, little research examines how these factors collectively influence dietary lapses while also controlling for the relationships that may exist among factors. Here, I fill this gap by drawing from the unified model of vegetarian identity (UMVI) and identity theory (IT) to propose an inclusive model of dietary lapses. Structural equation model results from a sample of 488 vegans reveal differences in how identity and interactional processes relate to dietary lapses across ethical and health motivations. This work is important because it highlights how identities relate to dietary behaviors differently for ethical and health vegans; it also provides fruitful avenues for future work in this area.
... Consistently, peoples' prior attitude towards a social group influences the perception of messages promoting food habits that can be attributed to such groups. For example, the baseline attitude toward vegans influences the effect of messages focused on the vegan diet [55]. We can therefore expect people who positively evaluate flexitarians to be persuaded by messages suggesting the habits of the flexitarian group (i.e., reducing meat consumption and replacing it with plant foods). ...
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In the present research, we analyzed how to promote a plant-based diet by involving 428 volunteers in a 2-week mobile app intervention. We compared messages promoting the addition of legumes versus messages promoting the replacement of meat with legumes. Messages were either combined or not combined with dynamic norms (i.e., information that more and more people are enacting the behavior). We compared these messages with a control condition (i.e., no message intervention) and we also analyzed the moderation effect of receivers’ identification with flexitarians (i.e., people who occasionally eat animal products) and attitudes towards them. In the short term, addition messages increased legume consumption more than replacement messages, especially in people with a negative evaluation of flexitarians and low identification with them. In the long term, increased legume consumption was recorded only when addition messages were combined with dynamic norms. As for meat consumption, the replacement messages were more effective in reducing it in the short term than in the long term, especially in people with positive attitudes towards flexitarians. However, replacement messages combined with dynamic norms were more effective in the long term than in the short term. These results advance our comprehension of how to tailor dietary messages.
... Indeed, previous literature shows that being part of a minority can make minority members feel different and distant from other members of the group (Hassouneh et al., 2014;Gutmann-Kahn and Lindstrom, 2015), whether it stems from having a different identity or even believing to have diverging opinions from majority members. Even if being vegetarian or vegan is not quite the same as other marginalized groups because they are a minority group based on choice not by biological trait, research shows that similar processes of distance and stigmatization still occur (Bresnahan et al., 2016;Markowski and Roxburgh, 2019). For example, vegetarianism is often treated as a deviant practice that requires explanation (Wilson et al., 2004;de Groeve et al., 2021). ...
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Several scientists have shown the importance of mitigating global warming and have highlighted a need for major social change, particularly when it comes to meat consumption and collective engagement. In the present study ( N = 486), we conducted a cross-sectional study to test the mismatch model, which aims at explaining what motivates individuals to participate in normative change. This model stipulates that perceiving a self—other difference in pro-environmental attitudes is the starting point and can motivate people to have high pro-environmental intentions. This mismatch effect is explained by participants’ willingness to participate in normative and social change: people that perceive a gap between their personal attitude and the social norm should be more willing to participate in normative change. This should then motivate them to have high pro-environmental intentions on an individual and group level. The results confirm the hypothesized model on an individual and group level and explain how people can be motivated to participate in normative change. Implications of these findings and the need for further studies are discussed.
... Many studies on veganism or vegans within the social psychological discipline use a critical discursive framework to focus on vegans as a disadvantaged stigmatized group and seek the predictors of vegan stigma (e.g., Rothgerber, 2014;Bresnahan et al., 2016;Markowski and Roxburgh, 2019). For instance, through a discursive analysis that critically examined vegaphobia in the UK newspapers it was demonstrated that vegans were stigmatized and stereotyped as unrealistic sentimentalists, fanatics or extremists (Cole and Morgan, 2011). ...
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In recent years, and in the current climate crisis, the interest in veganism and sustainable diet/lifestyle has increased. This growing interest can also be seen within academia. Therefore, we set out to systematically document and organize the social psychological literature on veganism and vegan identity to identify where the field currently is, and what we need to do next. Following PRISMA guidelines we identified a data set of 26 academic papers published between 2010 and 2021. Through a thematic analysis of the data, we created four categories of study focus and content: (1) vegans as a disadvantaged/stigmatized group, (2) the role of ideology in negative attitudes toward vegans, (3) the role of moral and ethical beliefs in changing or sustaining dietary preferences, and (4) veganism as a social movement and vegan activism. Our analysis emphasizes issues with merging all non-meat eaters, reduction of veganism into dietary or lifestyle choices neglecting the politicized content and movement, lack of processes underlying emergence and endurance of veganism, and decontextualization of vegan identity. What is needed is a more fine-grained exploration that addresses the identified issues to account for the content of vegan identity. This would expand, for example, the motives literature to include and emphasize intersectionality in a vegan identity context. Specifically, to facilitate a more sustainable lifestyle, the content of social dimensions needs to be qualitatively explored.
... There may be other negative experiences that we could not account for beyond the in uence of trauma and abuse victimization. For example, evidence indicates that vegans experience more negative social stigma and negative reactions from others (Bresnahan et al., 2016). They may experience more social isolation and distress as they are regularly challenged about their views and are perceived as judgmental by their family and peers (Greenebaum, 2012;Guérin, 2014;Hirschler, 2011;Lindquist, 2013). ...
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Examinations of links between plant-based diet and indices of physical and mental health have received increased attention in the scientific literature in recent years. However, there has been little to no published research examining associations between plant-based diet and use of aggressive behavior. The current study examined the link between a plant-based diet and partner aggression in a nationally representative United States sample of 1,763 individuals while controlling for childhood trauma and partner aggression victimization. Results indicated that while a plant-based diet was associated with greater use of relationship aggression at the bivariate level, this association did not remain significant when accounting for childhood trauma and aggression victimization. These results suggest the importance of considering the role of trauma and victimization when examining links between plant-based diet and aggression, and point to a number of possible avenues for additional investigation to better understand these associations.
... The association of veganism with privilege and whiteness reportedly serves as a barrier to adopting veganism for people of color (Greenebaum 2018). Several studies on veganism indicate that there is a strong stigma against vegans, as they are often labeled by non-vegans as killjoys, attention-seeking, pretentious, annoying, rude, overbearing, and maintaining an air of moral superiority (Bresnahan et al. 2016;Cole and Morgan 2011;Greenebaum 2012;MacInnis and Hodson 2017;Markowski and Roxburgh 2019;Twine 2014). Noting that these studies are primarily limited to white, middle-class participants, Greenebaum (2018) finds that the "vegan stigma" is compounded for people of color, who may face accusations of "acting white" or rejecting their own culture and ethnicity by adopting a vegan diet. ...
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The vegan food justice movement combines the aims of veganism and food justice, seeking to provide communities with nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods, free from exploitation of and cruelty to all human and nonhuman animals
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Two studies compared omnivores’ and veg*ns’ attitudes and dehumanization tendencies toward each other and identified the social psychological factors explaining them. Study 1 (N = 208, Italians) showed that veg*ns’ hold less positive attitudes toward omnivores than the reverse, and attributed to them less human uniqueness and nature; these differences were explained by veg*ns’ stronger identification with the ingroup and higher perceptions of reproach from the outgroup, even if omnivores’ higher levels of social dominance orientation worsened their attitude toward veg*ns. Study 2 (preregistered, N = 200, mostly from UK) overall replicated Study 1 findings at the explicit level. Interestingly, omnivores’ and veg*ns’ implicit attitudes were equally positive (but less positive than self‐reported attitudes) and not predicted by the same mediators associated with the explicit measures. This work suggests that neither veg*ns nor omnivores hold negative attitudes toward each other: they were both positive or neutral toward the outgroup, even if at the explicit level this positivity is greater for omnivores.
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A study of 190 omnivores examined their meat-eating justification (MEJ) beliefs and relationship closeness with veg*n friends, family members, and romantic partners; and how relationship closeness changes after veg*n diets are adopted. Denial and dissociation MEJs predicted lower closeness, whereas the hierarchical MEJ predicted higher closeness. Results also showed that relationship closeness significantly decreased for frequency and diversity of activities after adoption of veg*n diets. Closeness in terms of strength significantly increased after adoption of veg*n diets. A significant interaction was found between relationship type and time in which frequency of interactions decreased for friends and family after adoption of veg*n diets but did not change for romantic partners. These results suggest that only MEJs with moral considerations that elicit meat-related cognitive dissonance reduce relationship closeness after the adoption of veg*n diets; and that relationship closeness decreases after the adoption of veg*n diets only with friends or family members.
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