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“If I became a vegan, my family and friends would hate me:” Anticipating vegan stigma as a barrier to plant-based diets

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Abstract

A significant body of literature has developed which examines why meat consumption continues to be so important to Americans. Our paper contributes to this literature by examining how fear of stigmatization may be a barrier to avoiding meat consumption. This is an important subject because there is evidence that suggests that individuals who avoid meat, especially vegans, are stigmatized for disrupting social conventions related to food. In this paper, we present data from series of focus groups in which vegan, vegetarian, and omnivorous college students discussed perceptions of vegans and veganism. Our analysis shows that non-vegans anticipate stigma associated with eating like vegans. We identify two strategies by which non-vegans attempt to avoid this stigma: social and behavioral distancing. These results suggest that vegan stigma is a barrier that inhibits dietary shifts toward a plant-based diet. Our results are important because they can be used to improve the efficacy of public health initiatives focused on encouraging plant-based diet adoption and meat consumption reduction.

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... People who adhere to animal-based consumption (namely, meateaters) may hold ambiguous attitudes toward vegans. On the one hand, they may view vegans positively for their morality, their commitment, and their reputation as health-conscious, eco-friendly animal lovers (De Groeve, Hudders, & Bleys, 2021;Judge & Wilson, 2019;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Ruby & Heine, 2011). On the other hand, research suggests that vegans' often morally motivated dietary commitments might also evoke feelings of threat among meat-eaters, causing them to defensively stereotype vegans with moralistic traits indicating arrogance and overcommitment (De Groeve et al., 2021;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Minson & Monin, 2012). ...
... On the one hand, they may view vegans positively for their morality, their commitment, and their reputation as health-conscious, eco-friendly animal lovers (De Groeve, Hudders, & Bleys, 2021;Judge & Wilson, 2019;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Ruby & Heine, 2011). On the other hand, research suggests that vegans' often morally motivated dietary commitments might also evoke feelings of threat among meat-eaters, causing them to defensively stereotype vegans with moralistic traits indicating arrogance and overcommitment (De Groeve et al., 2021;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Minson & Monin, 2012). This "vegan paradox" is reminiscent of the "meat paradox" signifying that people both care about animals but also love to eat animals as meat (Loughnan, Bastian, & Haslam, 2014). ...
... Corroborating experimental and focus group studies demonstrating moralistic stereotyping of vegetarians (Minson & Monin, 2012) and vegans (Guerin, 2014;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019), De Groeve et al. (2021 found that moralistic traits (e.g., self-righteous, preachy, judgmental) comprised about 60% of the negative psychosocial traits omnivores associated with both vegetarians and vegans, and that vegans (vs. non-vegans) were viewed as significantly more moralistic, which could explain their lower social attractiveness. ...
Article
Over the last decade, vegan advocates have become a growing minority. By arguing against animal-product consumption and imposing the virtue-loaded call to “go vegan,” advocates have posed a direct challenge to the mainstream dietary ideology (termed “carnism”) in hopes of positive social change. As a consequence, while vegan advocates may be admired for their morality and commitment, they may also be derogated with moralistic traits such as arrogance and overcommitment. We call this mixed-valence perception the ”vegan paradox” and propose a theoretical framework for understanding it. Next, we develop a future research agenda to test and apply our framework, and inquire vegan advocacy for ethical, health, and environmental aims. Using the perspective of the idealistic vegan advocate as a reference point, we discuss the roles of the advocate's motives for change (i.e., the effectiveness of moral persuasion), the advocate's call for change (i.e., radical versus incremental change), the target's moral and carnist identification, and source attributes of the advocate. Lastly, we qualify our framework by highlighting further conceptual and methodological considerations.
... Vegans are frequently described as oversensitive and weak (Potts & Parry, 2010) and are viewed more negatively than their vegetarian peers (MacInnis & Hodson, 2017). Even vegetarians, whose diets overlap somewhat with vegans, similarly share negative views of vegans compared to their reported views of omnivores (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Qualitative research suggests that vegan stigma serves as a significant barrier to adopting a vegan diet (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). ...
... Even vegetarians, whose diets overlap somewhat with vegans, similarly share negative views of vegans compared to their reported views of omnivores (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Qualitative research suggests that vegan stigma serves as a significant barrier to adopting a vegan diet (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). ...
... This suggests that picky eaters understand the challenges experienced by other picky eaters and perhaps view their own eating behaviors differently than other eating styles. For instance, these individuals may see the fear and impairment that is associated with picky eating and feel protective of those that are like them (Crocker & Luhtanen, 1990;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). In contrast, members of other stigmatized groups (e.g., vegetarians) did not report less stigma toward their own eating style. ...
Article
Individuals commonly tailor their diets for reasons such as weight loss, health promotion, taste preferences, religious purposes, and to accommodate food allergies. Many individuals who adopt dietary changes, however, report experiencing significant social consequences such as stigma. This study explored stigma against various diet types and how one’s own dietary patterns influence stigma toward others’ eating behaviors. Participants (N=509) completed an online survey assessing their own dietary patterns and stigma toward others’ dietary patterns. On average, participants reported the greatest stigma toward picky eaters and people who follow popular diets. Five mixed ANOVAs were conducted to understand differences in stigma toward eating styles held by those who endorsed that eating style and those that did not. Men reported significantly more stigma toward eating styles than women; thus, gender was entered as a covariate for each ANOVA. Compared to non-picky eaters, picky eaters reported significantly lower stigma toward picky eating but significantly higher stigma toward all other eating styles except popular diets. There were no other significant differences in stigma reported between those who did or did not adhere to a given eating style. Future research should utilize more diverse samples and evaluate stigma experienced both by and toward others.
... 3 However, despite the increased popularity in plant-based dietary patterns, meat consumption remains an integral part of American culture, with only 4% of the US population following a diet that consists of no meat. 4 Due to meat consumption being such an integral part of American culture, people often perceive vegetarians and vegans as disrupting social settings that involve food. This negative view can result in a stigma that can make it challenging for people to adopt and maintain a plant-based diet. ...
... This negative view can result in a stigma that can make it challenging for people to adopt and maintain a plant-based diet. 4 The American Dietetics Association endorses plantbased diets as nutritionally sufficient and healthful for individuals in all parts of the life cycle including pregnancy and lactation. 5 Veganism and vegetarianism have been shown to be safe in pregnancy when individuals are able to consume the proper balance of essential nutrients. ...
... These findings relate to the idea that since traditional American social and cultural dietary patterns have meat and processed foods as staples, particularly during holiday and social gatherings, vegetarianism and veganism can be viewed pessimistically and create social stigma that can make following a nutrient-dense plant-rich dietary pattern more challenging. 4 In addition, those participants who had more experience with the Nutritarian dietary pattern prior to this pregnancy reported more confidence in dietary adherence as well as facing the challenging family and social situations. ...
Article
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Introduction: A nutrient-dense, plant-rich diet may be promising as a nutrition intervention for pregnant women for a number of factors. Factors include the possibility of a decreased risk for gestational diabetes, excess weight gain, and preeclampsia. Little is known about the experience of following this type of dietary pattern while pregnant and what barriers are present that should be addressed in a large-scale intervention. Methods: Qualitative interviews were used to understand the personal experience of women who aimed to eat a nutrient-dense plant-rich diet while pregnant. Semi-structured interviews were conducted from June to August 2020. Results: Three main themes regarding a nutrient-dense plant-rich diet emerged. First, family and social influence played an important role. Second, women who had a previous pregnancy felt they had fewer pregnancy symptoms on this diet. Last, the participants may have experienced a reduced milk supply on this dietary plan. Conclusion: Future research should consider family context as a factor in adherence to a nutrient-dense plant-rich dietary pattern, investigate the possible associations between nutrient-dense plant-rich dietary patterns and reduced nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy, and determine whether nutrient-dense, plant-rich dietary patterns contribute to a reduction in milk production for women who experience over-engorgement.
... Despite its advantages, veganism necessitates different eating behaviors that often demarcate people from conventional eaters (Bresnahan et al., 2016). Goffman (1963) argues that people who deviate from normality are perceived as abnormal, and research suggests this is the case for vegans (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Veganism might even be considered a socially deviant identity (Aavik, 2019), and people who are perceived as deviant can experience a variety of negative social outcomes. ...
... First, the findings of this study suggest that individuals who report a negative communal identity will refute that identity at the enacted layer of identity. Vegans explained that they are perceived negatively by members of mainstream culture, and this finding supports current literature (Cole & Morgan, 2011;Greenebaum, 2012;MacInnis & Hodson, 2017;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Many vegans fear that they will be stereotyped as radical (Buttny & Kinefuchi, 2020) and suffer consequences such as stigma (Bresnahan et al., 2016;Buttny & Kinefuchi, 2020;Hirschler, 2011;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019), conflict (Greenebaum, 2012), or not being invited to social functions (Greenebaum, 2012). ...
... Vegans explained that they are perceived negatively by members of mainstream culture, and this finding supports current literature (Cole & Morgan, 2011;Greenebaum, 2012;MacInnis & Hodson, 2017;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Many vegans fear that they will be stereotyped as radical (Buttny & Kinefuchi, 2020) and suffer consequences such as stigma (Bresnahan et al., 2016;Buttny & Kinefuchi, 2020;Hirschler, 2011;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019), conflict (Greenebaum, 2012), or not being invited to social functions (Greenebaum, 2012). Therefore, vegetarians and vegans employ communication strategies that they have found successful in past interactions (Buttny & Kinefuchi, 2020;Romo & Donovan-Kicken, 2012). ...
Article
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This qualitative analysis reflects 40 interviews that were conducted with vegans residing throughout the United States. The communication theory of identity was used as a guiding framework to examine the identity management techniques vegans employ within the personal, enacted, relational, and communal frames of identity. Thematic analysis yielded one communal theme of veganism (Negative Stereotypes of Veganism) that influences the ways vegans manage their identity at the enacted level. Two themes emerged (Facilitating Smooth Interactions, Eating and Sharing Vegan Food) to explain how vegans refute negative stereotypes and enact a positive identity. To facilitate smooth interactions, participants reported withholding their identity, downplaying their identity, and not imposing their views on others. Results indicate that vegans also use food as a form of identity management. Participants explained that they eat vegan food, share vegan food with others, and plan ahead (e.g., by reviewing restaurant menus online) to manage their identity. Results of this study demonstrate that vegans enact their identity in ways that are thoughtful and strategic.
... 12 Veganism does not cause eating disorders, but there are similarities between known eating disorder risk factors and the prevalence data for veganism. Research suggests the general population are biased against veganism, 13,14 but it remains unknown if specialist eating disorder (SED) professionals share these views. SED clinicians may be concerned about the potentially restrictive nature of vegan diets, and therefore may potentially be biased against veganism. ...
... A total of 430 responses were received and data were cleaned to exclude non-UK residents (n = 15), those under 18 or older than 68 years, those not identifying their professional group (n = 3) and vegan participants (n = 20), as research suggested this could bias responses as vegans have an strong sense of self-identity, which can affect their attitudes on topics ranging from animal welfare to political affiliation, and this could affect any findings of the research. 13,16 Table 1 provides key characteristics of the total sample (n = 392). ...
... Research has highlighted a level of bias against veganism within Western populations, 13,17,18 leading to it being viewed as a minority group similar to ethnicity or sexual orientation. 18 Not only are vegans often depicted as going against the status quo of normal dietary culture, but these attitudes are influenced by gender and age, with more prominent negative attitudes often found in older, male generations. ...
Article
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Aims and method Veganism has increased in popularity in the past decade and, despite being a characteristic protected by law, is often viewed negatively by the general population. Little is known about the attitudes of healthcare professionals despite the potential influence on practice and eating disorder patient care. This is one of the first studies to investigate attitudes toward veganism within specialist eating disorder, general mental health and other professionals. Results A one-way ANOVA indicated all professionals held positive views toward veganism. General mental health professionals held statistically more positive veganism attitudes than specialist eating disorder and other professionals. Clinical implications As one of the first studies to suggest eating disorder professionals are not biased against veganism, it has important clinical practice implications, particularly when exploring motivations for adopting a vegan diet (health, weight loss, environmental or animal welfare concerns) in patients with eating disorders. Implications for further research are provided.
... In various studies, vegans have been shown to assess life satisfaction higher (Janáček & Šť astný, 2018;Krizanova & Guardiola, 2020) and report less stress and anxiety than omnivores (Agarwal et al., 2015;Beezhold, Radnitz, Rinne, & DiMatteo, 2015). Nonetheless, recent research still show that vegans are being viewed from a negative perspective (Mac-Innis & Hodson, 2017) and that meat-eaters view anticipated stigma as a barrier to going vegan (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). In addition, vegans themselves also indicate that they experience some form of stigmatism concerning their vegan lifestyle (e.g., Buttny & Kinefuchi, 2020;Rosenfeld, 2018). ...
... Even though current research has shown that the image of veganism has changed in recent years from a stigmatized lifestyle to a more normalized lifestyle (Lundahl, 2020), how much this realistically impacted the uptake of a vegan diet is still to be further investigated. Markowski and Roxburgh (2019) for example pointed out that fear of stigmatization is likely to be a barrier to avoiding meat consumption. Their analysis showed that non-vegans anticipate stigma associated with the eating behaviours of vegans. ...
... Their analysis showed that non-vegans anticipate stigma associated with the eating behaviours of vegans. Other research has looked at inhibitors to adopt a vegan lifestyle, such as the taste of meat, lack of information about plant-based diets, limited availability of vegan food, and social barriers (e.g., Cheah, Sadat Shimul, Liang, & Phau, 2020;Crimarco et al., 2020;Lea, Crawford, & Worsley, 2006;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). As mentioned earlier in this article, those having adopted a vegan lifestyle still feel stigmatised for their lifestyle (e.g., Buttny & Kinefuchi, 2020;Rosenfeld, 2018). ...
Article
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While veganism has been growing and receiving increasing attention, there is a gap on how factors such as health and environmental beliefs and anti-speciesism values, that create attitude towards their diets, influence their vegan behaviour. Furthermore, the role of social stigma experienced by vegans has not been examined within this context. Building on the value-attitude-behaviour model, the present study addresses this gap by conceptualizing these different streams of variables to build a testable conceptual framework for understanding how these factors contribute to maintaining a vegan lifestyle. The study uses structural equation modelling to analyse the data on 315 vegan consumers, testing the framework and its variables. The study shows that the value‐attitude‐behaviour model can successfully be applied to vegan behaviour. The findings show that anti-speciesism values are strong predictors of a positive attitude toward a vegan diet. Furthermore, social stigma does not inhibit consumers from maintaining a vegan lifestyle. Ultimately, the study contributes to a novel multifaceted model for understanding veganism in broader terms, allowing for the examination of other influencing factors on a complex outcome. The findings are useful for policymakers and marketing practitioners to engage in understanding behavioural segments.
... On the other hand, a growing minority of people is gaining societal and scientific attention (Rosenfeld, 2018; The Vegan Society, 2014) as they violate this normative understanding by abstaining from meat (i.e., vegetarians) or other animal-based products (i.e., vegans), often because they moralize animal-based consumption as unnecessarily harmful for public health, the environment, and/or the animals exploited (Trethewey & Jackson, 2019). As a result, vegetarians and vegans (colloquially "veg*ns") often represent morally-motivated minorities (MacInnis & Hodson, 2017;Minson & Monin, 2012), and generate a broad range of impressions among omnivores accordingly (Corrin & Papadopoulos, 2017;Vartanian, 2015); making them both admirable, but at the same time less socially attractive (Bolderdijk, Brouwer, & Cornelissen, 2018;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Indeed, extant literature reveals that veg*ns are common targets of negative stereotyping, do-gooder derogation, and stigma (Corrin & Papadopoulos, 2017;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Minson & Monin, 2012) or, shortly put, "vegaphobia" (Cole & Morgan, 2011;Vandermoere, Geerts, De Backer, Erreygers, & Van Doorslaer, 2019). ...
... As a result, vegetarians and vegans (colloquially "veg*ns") often represent morally-motivated minorities (MacInnis & Hodson, 2017;Minson & Monin, 2012), and generate a broad range of impressions among omnivores accordingly (Corrin & Papadopoulos, 2017;Vartanian, 2015); making them both admirable, but at the same time less socially attractive (Bolderdijk, Brouwer, & Cornelissen, 2018;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Indeed, extant literature reveals that veg*ns are common targets of negative stereotyping, do-gooder derogation, and stigma (Corrin & Papadopoulos, 2017;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Minson & Monin, 2012) or, shortly put, "vegaphobia" (Cole & Morgan, 2011;Vandermoere, Geerts, De Backer, Erreygers, & Van Doorslaer, 2019). A theoretical model that explains how moral minority-based stereotypes of veg*ns would predict a lower social attractiveness among omnivores therefore seems timely, but is lacking in literature to date. ...
... That is, we expected that veg*ns would be perceived as lacking sociability relative to omnivores, which would (at least partially) explain their lower social attractiveness. Indeed, qualitative evidence shows that both veg*ns and omnivores see veg*nism as incongruent with socializing successfully (Chuck, Fernandes, & Hyers, 2016;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019), which is unsurprising given that eating and sharing meat and/or other animal products is embedded in cherished social practices and communal traditions which facilitate social bonding within the omnivorous majority (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Because be(com)ing veg*n implies breaking social bonds or connections with this majority (MacInnis & Hodson, 2017;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019), and bearing the burden to stand alone as a minority group or person (Chuck et al., 2016;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019), this may render them less sociable and socially attractive from omnivores' point of view. ...
Article
In this preregistered study we examined why people with an omnivorous diet (i.e., omnivores) would view vegetarians and vegans (i.e., veg*ns) as less socially attractive based on their status as stigmatized moral minorities. Drawing on a recently demonstrated distinction between perceived morality and sociability in research on universal dimensions of stereotype content, we expected that veg*ns would be perceived as more moral but less sociable compared to omnivores. A lower perceived sociability would predict a lower social attractiveness of veg*ns, supported by two additional stereotypes theorized to be specifically associated with moral minorities: moralistic and eccentric impressions. In addition, we explored impressions toward people who consciously reduce their meat intake (i.e., flexitarians) and we complemented our quantitative analysis with an analysis of stereotype content omnivores freely associated with the dietary groups. Accordingly, using a single factor between-subjects experimental design, we randomly allocated a diverse sample of omnivores from the UK to answer questions about either omnivores (n = 100), flexitarians (n = 101), vegetarians (n = 105) or vegans (n = 106). Results largely confirmed our hypotheses: Although veg*ns were perceived as more moral, they were also stereotyped more negatively (especially vegans). More specifically, they were seen as more eccentric and, in particular, more moralistic, predicting a lower social attractiveness, though indirect effects via sociability were relatively small. Notably, flexitarians shared positive attributes of both non-flexitarian groups. Free association data were largely consistent with our results and provide additional direction for further inquiry. Novel theoretical contributions are highlighted and limitations, future research directions, and implications of our study for theory and practice are discussed.
... In mainstream culture, as well as in social research, meatfree diets are often described using words such as "strict," "demanding," "avoidance," "restrictive," and are routinely associated with the notion of gustatory sacrifice or giving up a cherished food entirely (Cole, 2008). As such, vegetarianism and veganism are generally perceived as inferior in the hierarchy of western diets (Berndsen and van der Pligt, 2004;Cliceri et al., 2018;Cole, 2008;Cole & Morgan, 2011;Markowski & foodstuffs that are not animal-derived does not fit into this concept, and the perception of inferior taste of vegetarian food is often cited by omnivores as a barrier to adopting meatless diets (Beverland, 2014;Rothgerber, 2013). ...
... reducing, but not ceasing meat consumption, also referred to as semi-vegetarianism) has received growing interest in academic research. The motivations for its adoption include finding a practical middle ground between what are perceived as extreme ideologies, navigating ideological and social tensions that are associated with comparatively stricter veg*nism (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019), while maintaining and expressing concern for environmental and social sustainability, all the while balancing them with hedonic compromises with respect to cherished sensory properties of meat (Kemper & White, 2021). It should be noted that adherents of flexitarian diets are primarily motivated by individual health concerns (e.g. ...
... By contrast, many meat avoiders internalize moral values such as compassion and make their food choices in accordance with these values (Bastian & Loughnan, 2017;Graça et al., 2016;Loughnan et al., 2014). Due to these facts, omnivores often regard veg*n dietary practices as deviant, consider meatless food as less tasty , and stigmatize veg*ns-occasionally as eccentric or deviant (Cliceri et al., 2018;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Romo & Donovan-Kicken, 2012;. By contrast, veg*ns' internalization of moral values is often accompanied by a hedonic shift that evokes aversion towards meat (Anderson et al., 2019;Feinberg et al., 2019;Jabs et al., 1998;Rozin et al., 1997). ...
Article
The connection between plant-based diets and compassion is intuitive. Prior research has demonstrated that food of ethical origin subjectively tastes better to consumers who embrace ethical values. Since meat avoiders generally internalize the values associated with the avoidance of animal-derived products, higher levels of compassion are expected to enhance the subjective taste of meatless food choices, which has implications for lowering barriers to the adoption of vegetarian diets. Three experimental laboratory studies demonstrate that compassion improves the subjective taste of meatless foodstuffs and increases meat avoidance intent, which translates into a higher probability to choose a vegetarian wrap rather than a meatcontaining wrap. Two online studies illuminate the underlying psychological process, which is mediated by perceived self-similarity to human and non-human animals. Identifying individual traits that are associated with heightened enjoyment of meatless foods facilitates marketing segmentation for meatless foodstuffs. Furthermore, the tested compassion-inducing visual stimuli can be adapted for product packaging or employed in restaurant décor to elevate consumers’ subjective taste of meatless foods, potentially counteracting the negative individual and societal health effects of excessive meat intake. The moderating effect of meat avoidance intent on subjective taste suggests that, for people who consider reducing their meat intake, transitory zones exist where the perceived enhancement in taste of vegetarian food is not sufficiently motivating to change dietary practices permanently and it may appear more rewarding to simply revert to meat consumption. Social marketers can focus on these zones where moral conflict about meat consumption is salient by providing support to make dietary transitions less frustrating. This set of studies is the first to articulate the connection between compassion and ethical food choices in a consumer-relevant context. The findings point towards avenues to promote meat reduction, improve individual physical and mental health, and reduce the environmental impact of meat production.
... 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). ...
... Although most of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society members position themselves as radical activists, some of them rejected being labeled as vegan to avoid being considered as "hardcore vegan" which implies an inflexible ideological position, and the organization should keep a distance from this position. Moreover, Markowski and Roxburgh (2019) showed that stigmatization of vegans also has negative impacts for omnivores as it can inhibit dietary shifts toward veganism due to the negative label. Related to the perception of stigmatization and its consequences are the attitudes toward vegans, and especially the role that ideology plays in creating and maintaining the attitudes. ...
... Even though only a small difference, vegans (9.8%) referred to a shared identity more often than vegetarians (8.9%) (Cruwys et al., 2020). Moreover, Markowski and Roxburgh (2019) demonstrated that vegetarians and omnivores often shared negative perceptions of vegans and veganism, further highlighting the need for differentiation between non-meat eaters. Hence, even though similar, there are differences between vegans and vegetarians in terms of politicized content and identification which suggests that they should be studied as distinct groups. ...
Article
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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.
... Even though adherence to the hegemonic taste regime is not a choice for such consumers, they are prone to be socially stigmatized (Dean et al., 2016;Schroeder and Mowen, 2014). On the other end, some consumers choose to adhere to alternative taste regimes such as veganism (Twine, 2018) instead of the hegemonic one, likewise exposing themselves to the risk of social stigma (Markowski and Roxburgh, 2019). ...
... Non-adherence to hegemonic taste regimes regarding food consumption has the potential to invoke social stigma (Dean et al., 2016;Markowski and Roxburgh, 2019;Schroeder and Mowen, 2014). Goffman's (1963) social stigma can succinctly be described as a social difference that when recognized leads to a devaluation and "spoiled social identity". ...
... As touched on in the introduction, the literature contains ample empirical evidence that non-adherence to hegemonic taste regimes of hedonic food consumption exposes consumers to social stigmatization both when non-adherence is forced (Dean et al., 2016;Schroeder and Mowen, 2014) and when it is voluntary (Markowski and Roxburgh, 2019). Such food resistance constructs consumers identities (Cronin et al., 2014) and, eventually, establishes alternative taste regimes (Robinson and Lundahl, 2019), negatively reinforcing hegemonic taste regimes for hedonic food consumption in the process. ...
Article
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Prior research has shown that practices in aesthetically oriented cultures of consumption are orchestrated by hegemonic taste regimes. Adherence to such regimes may be challenging for some consumers such as those with food intolerances, though, exposing them to the potential social stigma invoked by non‐adherence. This article investigates how consumers with food intolerance strive to adhere to hegemonic taste regimes and avoid social stigma through a qualitative study of the quest of Danish consumers with histamine intolerance to derive pleasure from hedonic food consumption. Four coping strategies are identified: experimenting in an exploration of the liminal space between consumable and non‐consumable foods, substituting non‐tolerable foods by safe ones, facilitating consumption of non‐tolerable foods through the use of medical and technological aids, and prioritizing practices of hedonic food consumption over adverse bodily reactions. These coping strategies are conjectured to be generalizable in the context of other aesthetically oriented (sub‐)cultures of consumption and suggest an alternative perspective on hedonism as minimization of loss of pleasure rather than as maximization of pleasure. The implications of the findings extend beyond the context of hedonic food consumption, though, presenting empirical evidence for and nuancing recent extensions of Goffman’s theory of social stigma and providing insights on the relation between public stigma and self‐stigma, on how taste regimes can be experienced as exclusive and oppressive, and on how social stigma positively reinforces hegemonic taste regimes.
... Consumers sometimes conflate arguments for reduction with being asked to completely eliminate meat from their diet, which, in turn, can be linked to resistance to change [25]. It has been reported that people fear experiencing social stigma if they were to completely eschew meat [26], which may contribute to this resistance. This seems consistent with findings indicating that, at least among certain groups, communicating a message of reduction may be more effective than one of elimination [27]. ...
... People also tend to eat more meat when eating with family members than when eating alone or even with other companions such as friends or colleagues, as well as at the weekend, and while eating out e.g., at restaurants and cafes [56]. Additionally, non-vegans can experience fear of social ostracism or stigma from other people if they were to adopt a vegan diet [26]. The ways in which other people and situations affected the food choices of the participants in the present study were largely consistent with these earlier observations: for some reduction, but not elimination, was their goal, and many participants could give examples of situations where they did not feel comfortable or able to choose a meat-free option. ...
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Switching out meat in favour of plant-based alternatives such as meat substitutes is an important step towards eating more sustainably. Here, the aim was to identify and explore the specific barriers experienced by Swedish consumers when replacing meat with more sustainable alternatives. All meat-eating participants in this study reported some interest in reducing their meat consumption. Aspects of home-use and central-location test methods were combined by using a digital conferencing system to host cooking sessions and focus group discussions online, which was shown to be a viable setup even in this hands-on setting. The discussions targeted participants’ experience preparing meals using meat substitutes as well as their perceived motivators and barriers to reducing meat consumption. Four themes identified through thematic analysis indicated that meat-eating participants, despite their desire or intent to reduce their meat consumption, experienced barriers relating to the following: internal conflict due to holding multiple positive and negative beliefs about meat simultaneously (ambivalence), justification of eating meat (rationalisation), a desire for variety in and control over their food choices (agency), and sensitivity to the views and expectations of other people and the situational context regarding meat (social and structuralfactors). Possible strategies to support ambivalent individuals in aligning their behaviour with their beliefs instead of vice versa are discussed in the context of the meat paradox. Agency and practical skills, including increasing knowledge in preparing meals with plant-based proteins, likely play a role in bridging this intention–behaviour gap.
... Other studies confirm that there is a bias against vegetarians and vegans such that non-vegans socially distance themselves from vegans [11]. Much like environmental activists [12,13], vegans face stigmatization by meat eaters [14,15] and are targets of negative stereotyping [16,17]. Apparently, peoples' diets form an important part of their social identity [18], with strained relationships between the groups. ...
... Sustainability 2022, 14, 1741 ...
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Reducing meat consumption can make immediate contributions to fighting the climate crisis. A growing minority adheres to meat-free diets and could convince others to follow suit. We argue, however, that recipients’ social identification as meat eaters may impede the effectiveness of such calls (i.e., an intergroup sensitivity effect based on dietary groups). Indeed, meat eaters in our experiment (N = 260) were more likely to reject calls for dietary change from a vegan than from a fellow meat eater. This effect was also evidenced in evaluations of and engagement with an initiative to promote a vegan diet (“Veganuary”), providing some indication for behavioral impact. In contrast, our societal dietary norm manipulation had no consistent effects on observed outcomes. Exploratory moderation analyses show a limited impact of participants’ social identification as meat eaters but highlight the role of peoples’ general willingness to engage in environmentally friendly behavior. We discuss theoretical and practical implications, including how our results challenge existing approaches to promoting a meat-reduced diet.
... In this study, friends and family were found to have a significant inverse relationship with vegan dietary pattern scores before the lockdown and a significant positive relationship with the meat dietary pattern scores before and during the lockdown. This could be explained by the evidence in the literature that people generally view vegetarians and vegans negatively, because they severely disrupt family traditions and social conventions related to food [40][41][42][43]. The number of vegetarian/vegan friends and family may influence meat consumption, but it is unknown whether vegetarians/vegans influence their meat-eating friends and family to decrease their meat consumption [44]. ...
... It is likely that the dietary patterns that people follow influence who they choose to be influenced by, just as much as the inspiration sources influence the dietary pattern. These findings are important, because they can be used to improve the efficacy of public health initiatives focused on encouraging plant-based diet adoption and meat consumption reduction [43]. ...
Article
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Citation: Roy, R.; de Castro, T.G.; Haszard, J.; Egli, V.; Te Morenga, L.; Teunissen, L.; Decorte, P.; Cuykx, I.; De Backer, C.; Gerritsen, S. Who We Seek and What We Eat? Sources of Food Choice Inspirations and Their Abstract: Research shows the shaping of food choices often occurs at home, with the family widely recognised as significant in food decisions. However, in this digital age, our eating habits and decision-making processes are also determined by smartphone apps, celebrity chefs, and social media. The 'COVID Kai Survey' online questionnaire assessed cooking and shopping behaviours among New Zealanders during the 2020 COVID-19 'lockdown' using a cross-sectional study design. This paper examines how sources of food choice inspirations (cooking-related advice and the reasons for recipe selection) are related to dietary patterns before and during the lockdown. Of the 2977 participants, those influenced by nutrition and health experts (50.9% before; 53.9% during the lockdown) scored higher for the healthy dietary pattern. Participants influenced by family and friends (35% before; 29% during the lockdown) had significantly higher scores for the healthy and the meat dietary patterns, whereas participants influenced by celebrity cooks (3.8% before; 5.2% during the lockdown) had significantly higher scores in the meat dietary pattern. There was no evidence that associations differed before and during the lockdown. The lockdown was related to modified food choice inspiration sources, notably an increase in 'comforting' recipes as a reason for recipe selection (75.8%), associated with higher scoring in the unhealthy dietary pattern during the lockdown. The lockdown in New Zealand saw an average decrease in nutritional quality of diets in the 'COVID Kai Survey', which could be partly explained by changes in food choice inspiration sources.
... In order to be able to develop effective strategies that facilitate a decrease in meat consumption, research is required on factors that influence meat consumption (Graça et al., 2019;RIVM, 2020b). Various studies have identified barriers and enablers for a decrease in meat consumption, such as awareness of the health aspects of meat and its climate impact, habitual behaviour, cooking skills, social norms, fear of stigmatization, and availability and price of meat and meat alternatives (Hielkema & Lund, 2021;Hoek et al., 2017;Mullee et al., 2017;Natuur & Milieu, 2019;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Collier et al., 2021). However, without an overarching rationale or theoretical framework this evidence remains fragmented and provides few options to design and deliver effective strategies to reduce meat consumption (Graça et al., 2019). ...
... The social environment was not frequently selected as a self-perceived barrier or enabler, but a possible explanation for this is that the description of 'people in my environment' may have been somewhat vague. Other studies report the important role of social barriers such as fear of stigmatization and lack of social support from family and friends among people who want to reduce their meat consumption (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Graça et al., 2019). ...
Article
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High consumption of animal-source foods, specifically meat, adversely affects human health and the environment. Dietary habits are shaped at younger ages and a reduction in meat consumption may be facilitated by the life course transitions in early adulthood, but studies are limited. This study among young Dutch adults aimed to describe their perceptions on the influence of life course transitions on meat consumption, barriers and enablers to reduce meat consumption, and strategies for reducing meat consumption. Barriers and enablers were grouped applying the COM-B model that includes capability, opportunity, and motivation. This quantitative cross-sectional study included a representative sample of 1806 young adults from two Dutch consumer panels who completed an online survey. Young adults frequently reported life course transitions, especially those related to moving house, to have decreased their meat consumption. Barriers and enablers to reduce meat consumption were identified for all three factors of the COM-B model. Important barriers included taste, perceived high prices of meat alternatives, and habits. In contrast, important enablers included care for the environment and animal welfare, enjoyment of smaller portions of meat and saving money. However, barriers and enablers largely differed by groups of meat consumption frequency. Self-perceived effective strategies for reducing meat consumption were price reduction of meat alternatives, recipes for vegetarian meals, and more attractive meat alternatives. The findings of this study are relevant for the development of targeted behaviour-change programmes including interventions in the physical and the social environment (like lowering prices and improving the offer of meat alternatives).
... For example, a study conducted in Malaysia found that almost the 40% of non-vegetarian consumers had negative attitudes toward vegetarian diets (Mohamed et al., 2017). Furthermore, Markowski and Roxburgh (2019) found that vegetarian or vegan American students often prefer not to declare their dietary choices or not to reduce meat eating to avoid stigmatization and difficult discussions with peers and families. Finally, a recent study by Bagci et al. (2021) showed that the two parts express negative opinions toward each other. ...
... These results are in line with the previous research conducted on other labels that found, for example, that the ethical or ecological identity moderate the halo effect of fairtrade (Schuldt et al., 2012) or organic (Schuldt et al., 2010) labelling respectively. Furthermore, they relate to the research that found that average consumers tend to stigmatize vegetarianism and veganism (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019), because consider plant-based diets as inadequate and unhealthy (Crnic, 2013), naïve (Burgess et al. 2014), feminine (Ruby & Heine, 2011) or less tasty (Pohjolainen, 2015) than diets that include animal-based food. ...
Article
Plant-based meat alternatives have grown tremendously in recent years, with an unprecedented increase in vegan and meat-sounding labelled products appearing on European Union shelves. However, a regulation clarifying what the "vegan" label means and if "meat-sounding" names should be allowed when referring to plant-based foods is still lacking. Led by opposite reasons, both vegetarian and meat producers' associations are demanding to fill this legal void. Our paper contributes to this debate by providing the results of two online experiments that measures how consumers perceive plant-based meat substitutes based on vegan vs. meat-sounding labelling. The results of the first study showed that meat-sounding labels applied to plant-based food altered perceived healthiness, but not other characteristics of the product. The second study indicated that vegan labelling exerted a negative effect on the consumers' perception of tastiness and healthiness, and willingness to buy of plant-based foods. Importantly, these effects were moderated by the consumers' attitudes towards meat-eating and veganism. In line with these results, we propose that the explicit use of the "vegan" label might be counterproductive to increase the sales of plant-based foods, and that the biasing impact of meat-sounding labels on plant-based food's perception is weak.
... While many people, thanks to the groundwork by minorities in the past, now privately have adopted the notion that climate change is an urgent problem and that drastic change is needed, their public actions often lag behind. This lag, at least partly, may be driven by fear of social sanctions: people strongly fear social exclusion when their deviant moral principles are exposed to majority members [32], and fear of stigma has been found to prevent aspiring vegans from adopting a plant-based diet [33]. Indeed, particularly in 'tight' societies, in which conformity pressure is strong, public behaviours often do not reflect private proenvironmental opinions [34]. ...
Article
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Whilst the majority of people cares about environmental quality, they keep engaging in carbon-intensive practices that exacerbate climate change. Can we expect humans to collectively change by themselves, from the bottom up? Social change is often initiated by minorities – individuals who challenge the status quo. The dominant literature paints a rather pessimistic picture about the ability of minorities to instigate change in the environmental domain: environmental activists, vegans, and other minority members often elicit social sanctions thereby ironically reinforcing the majority’s commitment to current, environmentally harmful norms. Recent findings, however, point towards more optimism: pro-environmental minorities can pave the way towards ‘tipping points’ and spontaneous social change. Policymakers can speed up this process by offering top-down support for minorities – by giving them ‘voice’.
... Product conceptualisations can include emotions and feelings, and conceptual profiling (e.g., classy, genuine, conservative, free-spirited, youthful) extends product characterisations compared to emotional associations alone. While applications have been modest relative to emotion research, conceptualisations are likely to be a rich source of product insight in the domain of PB products, since links exist between meat-masculinity and meatless-femininity (e.g., Mycek, 2018;Schösler, de Boer, Boersema, Aiking, 2015), and social conventions regarding eating and drinking influence perceptions of non-meat eaters (e.g., Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). ...
Article
Production and consumption practices that reduce the environmental burden of eating and drinking and promote global sustainability are of paramount interest. Against this background, we present a quantitative study of US adults’ perceptions of selected non-alcoholic beverages including pairs of regular and plant-based alternatives (iced coffee / iced coffee with almond milk, fruit smoothie / fruit smoothie with soy milk and cow’s milk / oat milk). Particular focus was directed to comparing product perceptions of consumers who never consumed these plant-based alternatives with those who did so (n=249 and n=274), as a means for contextualising the barriers that hinder uptake among non-users. To further achieve this goal, we implemented an online survey with a multi-response empirical strategy where the beverages were characterised using a large set of emotional, conceptual, situational, and attitudinal/behavioural variables. Fitting expectations, negative associations were dominant in the group of consumers who never consumed the plant-based beverage variants. However, these associations were product dependent and decreased in the order: oat milk, fruit smoothie with soy milk and iced coffee with almond milk. This pointed to a likely interplay of sensory properties, situational appropriateness and household routines. Food neophobia negatively influenced perceptions of less familiar products, including but not limited to plant-based beverages. While the research was limited to a small number of beverages and plant-based alternatives, it clearly identified the important role that in-depth and product-specific investigations have in helping to identify and overcome barriers to sustainable eating and drinking solutions.
... Research in this area has largely focused on the form and content of anti-vegan prejudice. Characteristic of such attitudes is the perception that people who identify as vegans tend to be militant, hostile, overly sensitive, hypocritical, annoying, self-righteous, opinionated, inflexible, and judgmental (Cole & Morgan, 2011;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019;Minson & Monin, 2011). Generally, this arm of research converges on the conclusion that moralistic impressions of vegans seem to account for the bulk of antipathy and discrimination against them (see De . ...
Article
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Despite the established health and ecological benefits of a plant-based diet, the decision to eschew meat and other animal-derived food products remains controversial. So polarising is this topic that anti-vegan communities - groups of individuals who stand vehemently against veganism - have sprung up across the internet. Much scholarship on veganism characterizes anti-vegans in passing, painting them as ill-informed, uneducated, or simply obstinate. However, little empirical work has investigated these communities and the individuals within them. Accordingly, we conducted a study using social media data from the popular platform, Reddit. Specifically, we collected all available submissions (∼3523) and comments (∼45,528) from r/AntiVegan subreddit users (N = 3819) over a five-year period. Using a battery of computerized text analytic tools, we examined the psychosocial characteristics of Reddit users who publicly identify as anti-vegan, how r/AntiVegan users discuss their beliefs, and how the individual user changes as a function of community membership. Results from our analyses suggest several individual differences that align r/AntiVegan users with the community, including dark entertainment, ex-veganism and science denial. Several topics were extensively discussed by r/AntiVegan members, including nuanced discourse on the ethicality and health implications of vegan diets, and the naturalness of animal death, which ran counter to our expectations and lay stereotypes of r/AntiVegan users. Finally, several longitudinal changes in language use were observed within the community, reflecting enhanced group commitment over time, including an increase in group-focused language and a decrease in cognitive processing. Implications for vegan-nonvegan relations are discussed.
... Social influence happens when the way of life, actions, thoughts, and interests influence the conduct of others, and their actions change in the company of others [51]. Family and friends influence directly and sincerely through evaluations and attitudes, providing the bases for changes in decisions and attitudes. ...
Article
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This study proposes to understand the impact of personal (health awareness and social influence) and moral (environmental concerns and animal welfare) antecedents on attitudes towards veganism and their effects on engagement with vegan products, along with their impact on purchase intention and word of mouth. Idealism is presented as a moderator of these proposed relationships. The study uses a structured questionnaire to gather data from two cross-sectional samples of 224 Portuguese and 356 Brazilian vegans collected from Facebook groups of vegans. Structural equation modelling is used to test the seven proposed hypotheses and the moderation effects. This research compares the influence of personal and moral determinants on veganism using idealism as a specific context to investigate their relationships, comparing Brazilian and Portuguese respondents and the effects of national cultures. Results show that attitudes towards veganism do not depend on personal causes, but rather on moral concerns. Motivations to reduce animal consumption, protect nature, and respect animal life seem to be guided by ethical principles.
... Anticipated negative perceptions or stigma has also been identified as a barrier for reducing meat consumption (Lea & Worsley, 2003;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Stigma describes the negative perceptions and/or the biased treatment of social groups that possess certain undesirable traits (Link & Phelan, 2001), often resulting in social and behavioural distancing from stigmatised others (e.g. ...
Article
Current levels of meat consumption pose a significant threat to human, animal, and planetary wellbeing, presenting an urgent need for widespread reduction in meat eating behaviour. Changing meat-rich diets is difficult. However, a growing number of individuals, termed Meat Reducers (MRs), are actively reducing their meat intake and offer a potential strategy to shift meat-rich diets using social influence. Social influence significantly affects eating behaviours, and is strongest when individuals or groups are perceived as aspirational or positive. Therefore, across two studies a free association task and vignettes were used to assess social representations, perceived personality traits, and perceived group membership about meat reducers, compared to vegetarians and habitual meat consumers. Results indicate that MRs are perceived positively and, for some traits, more positively than vegetarians and habitual meat consumers. These results confirm that MRs are an appropriate referent group for use in future social influence-based interventions aiming to reduce meat intake. This will become incrementally important as the mounting environmental and health crises add urgency to the need to reduce meat eating.
... In our survey, only a small minority of children experienced social exclusion for being vegan. This finding suggests that children do not pay too much attention to what their peers eat, while the stigma attached to a VD is still strong among adults and adolescents [44], despite the number of vegans continuing to rise [1]. ...
Article
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A growing number of Italian families are adopting a vegan diet (VD) for their offspring from infancy for various reasons, with health benefits and ethics being the most common reasons. Barriers to effective communication with primary care pediatricians (PCPs) are perceived by many parents and, depending on the actors involved and the environment, a VD may affect social interactions in everyday life. A national cross-sectional survey was conducted between July and September 2020. Parents of children following a VD completed an online questionnaire. Data from 176 Italian parents were collected. About 72% (71.8%) of the children included in this study had been on a VD since weaning. Parents did not inform their primary care pediatricians (PCP) about the VD in 36.2% of the cases. In 70.8% of the cases, PCPs were perceived as skeptical or against a VD. About 70% (71.2%) of the parents relied on medical dietitians, and 28.2% on nutritionists/dietitians for dietary counseling. Parents administered an individual B12 supplement in 87.2% of the cases. To the best of our knowledge, this survey is the first which explores the relationship between vegan parents and their PCPs, the parental management of their children’s diet and problems regarding the implementation of a VD in everyday life.
... The vegan area was very often stigmatized and discouraged individuals from a plant-based diet [97][98][99]. The reason was that vegan and vegetarians disrupt social convention related to food [100][101][102]. At present, however, the vegan area is on the rise, both in terms of perception of customers and food producers who have experienced this rise and develop new vegan products, which they also consider one of the sustainability transition paths in the food sector [103]. ...
Article
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Social media platforms have become part of many people’s lives. Users are spending more and more time on these platforms, creating an active and passive digital footprint through their interaction. This footprint has high research potential in many research areas because understanding people’s communication on social media is essential in understanding their values, attitudes, experiences and behaviors. Researchers found that the use of social networking sites impacts adolescents’ eating behavior. If we define adolescents as individuals between ages 10 and 24 (WHO’s definition), 76% of USA young people at age 18–⁠24 use Instagram, so the Instagram social network analysis is important for understanding young people’s expressions in the context of healthy food. This study aims to identify the main topic associated with healthy food on the Instagram social network via hashtag and community analysis based on 2,045,653 messages created by 427,936 individual users. The results show that users most associate Healthy food with healthy lifestyle, fitness, weight loss and diet. In terms of food, these are foods that are Vegan, Homemade, Clean and Plant-based. Given that young people change their behavior in relation to people’s behavior on social networks, it is possible to use this data to predict their future association with healthy food characteristics.
... Black) [13]. Another recent study examined how a group of vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous college students feel among vegans and vegetarians, and one of the conclusions was that nonvegan reported socially distancing themselves from vegans both physically and verbally [14]. Moreover, the social devaluation of vegetarian towards vegetarian has reached a state of garnered its own label-'veganobia' [15]. ...
... Despite veganism and vegetarianism gaining traction in recent years, catering managers spoke of how vegetarian labelling can be off-putting for adolescents. Some could fear stigmatization amongst their peer group if they opted for vegan options (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). ...
Article
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES This study explores what school catering staff (nutrition program personnel) in the United Kingdom (UK) perceive to influence adolescents' food choices during the school day with observational research at school dining centers. METHODS Three middle schools in Wales, United Kingdom took part in the triangulated qualitative study. The research focused on pupils in Key Stage Three (aged 11 to 14 years old) enrolled at three schools. Data from interviews with the catering managers based at the schools (n=6), observations in school dining centers (n=3), and focus groups with catering staff (n=3) were thematically analyzed together. RESULTS Catering staff discussions and the observations revealed that the overall uptake of healthful foods was low in comparison to the number of pupils opting for unhealthful foods. Although healthful foods are available, pupils often avoided the most nutritionally balanced meal options. Catering staff perceived a multitude of factors as influencing adolescents' food choices at school: staff encouragement, peer pressure, parenting, education, health consciousness, vegan and vegetarianism, taste preferences, price consciousness, and convenience. APPLICATION TO CHILD NUTRITION PROFESSIONALS Exploring the perspective of catering staff or line level employees was a novel approach in better understanding the factors influencing adolescents' decision-making in the school food environment. These research findings are a beneficial starting point for further research or may potentially be used to influence how a healthful eating multifactorial policy could be implemented in middle schools. Of particular note, findings suggest a focus on ensuring that options are convenient and contain vegetables; avoiding overt labelling of vegetarian options; and introducing packed lunch regulations.
... Deviant meateating behaviors cause social reactions, which do not happen with other food items. For example, vegans suffer discrimination for not following standard eating behaviors, including vegaphobia and stigmatization (Markowski and Roxburgh, 2019;Plante et al., 2019;Vandermoere et al., 2019) From a biological point of view, the human being is an omnivorous animal. However, despite the physiological ability to eat meat, people can make a personal choice whether or not to eat it. ...
Conference Paper
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There has been increasing attention to food production and consumption effects on the environment and human health, especially regarding meat consumption. Traditionally, meat is one of the most important food items in the human diet: it is part of many societies' dominant dietary habits. On the other hand, recent dietary guidelines recommend consumers reduce meat consumption and substitute them for plant-based or insect-based food as alternatives to environmentally sustainable food. However, questions are raising in health and environmental areas. For example, studies have suggested that eating meat has both positive and negative impacts on health, and the environmental footprint of diets is country-specific. This discussion takes meat to a controversial position in the human diet. It occurs both in the scientific field and in the mass media, exposing consumers to information conflict and ambiguity, which can affect their food consumption behavior. Since eating meat is considered a social norm in most areas of the world, consumers are expected to face conflicts regarding these norms and meat consumption. Social norms are negotiated rules and patterns that regulate social behaviors. They are communicated and understood by members of a specific group in a way that they can guide or restrict behaviors and conducts. The influence of social norms in food choice and the consumed amount of food is recognized by the literature, as well as its impact on several elements of the sustainable food consumption process. Our study discusses the possible effects of social norms conflicts regarding meat consumption on consumer behavior, resulting from the ambiguities to which consumers are exposed. To achieve this, we did a narrative review of the literature, addressing topics related to sustainable diet and food consumption behavior, meat consumption, social norms, and normative conflicts. As a result, we propose a theoretical framework that focuses on social norm conflicts and meat consumption behavior, integrating academic insights and research findings from different disciplines. Our framework considers three different types of normative conflicts: (a) conflicting norms within the same group; (b) conflicting norms of different groups that the person identifies with; and (c) conflicting norms of different groups that the person identifies with one group, but not with the other. With that, this study aims to contribute to promoting environmentally sustainable food consumption in the food domain. Our contribution encompasses insights to (i) the advancement of the Focus Theory of Normative Conduct; (ii) the knowledge related to consumer behavior in the food domain; and (iii) the industry, government, and society, by providing information to support decisions, agendas, and public policies. Finally, we also present research questions that could be explored in future studies.
... On the one hand, vegans may evoke admiration among omnivores for their moral commitment to their vegan diet and lifestyle (De Groeve et al., 2021;Judge & Wilson, 2019). On the other hand, vegans may be subjected to stigmatization for appearing to display moralistic traits indicating arrogance and overcommitment (De Groeve & Rosenfeld, 2022;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). This ambivalence in stereotypical impressions has recently been termed the "vegan paradox" (De Groeve and Rosenfeld, 2022) and is theorized to stem from the cognitive dissonance people may feel from eating meat (De Groeve & Rosenfeld, 2022, see also Rothgerber, 2020): Omnivores may view vegans as morally committed because they embody care for animals, but defend their own dietary preferences by negatively stereotyping vegans as arrogantly overcommitted. ...
Article
Ambivalent attitudes exist toward vegans: While people may admire vegans' moral aims and commitment, they may also derogate vegans for seeming arrogant and overcommitted. These latter negative perceptions may undermine the effectiveness of efforts to reduce meat consumption for health, animal-welfare, and sustainability benefits. In the present research, we investigated the role of a vegan's motivation (animal ethics vs. health) in moralized attitudes toward vegans among omnivorous participants through two preregistered studies. In Study 1 (N = 390), we found that a vegan advocate motivated by animal ethics (vs. health) was seen as more moral but not as more arrogantly overcommitted. In Study 2 (N = 1177), we found that animal ethics (vs. health) vegans were seen as both more arrogantly committed and more morally committed, but that relative moral commitment perceptions were attenuated when vegans were described as actively advocating. Both advocating (vs. non-advocating) vegans and animal ethics (vs. health) vegans were generally seen as less socially attractive by omnivores due to stronger attributions of arrogant overcommitment, and a lower social attractiveness was associated with a lower willingness to eat less animal products. Our findings inform ongoing debates within the vegan movement about the effectiveness of signaling moral commitment in promoting plant-based diets.
... Given the common stereotype of the "angry militant vegan" (de Groeve et al., 2021;Minson & Monin, 2012), it may be prudent to use strategies in organizational messaging that relate more to identity and efficacy than anger; however, this is also an area that needs more research. Furthermore, encouraging a vegan social identity may also protect against the negativity and stigmatization that some vegans report experiencing (e.g., Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). It is important to consider the potential benefits and disadvantages of vegan advocacy, especially in interpersonal interactions. ...
Article
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Adopting plant-based, or vegan, diets can have a number of benefits, including mitigating climate change, promoting animal welfare, or improving public health. In the current research, we use social psychological theory to better understand what motivates vegans to engage in collective action on behalf of this social group - that is, what motivates individuals to promote, or encourage others to adopt, a vegan lifestyle. We develop and test a Social Identity Model of Vegan Activism, which highlights the roles of individuals' social identities, sense of efficacy, emotions and moral convictions in fostering collective action. In two pre-registered studies, the first with self-identified vegans from Australia and the UK (N = 351), and the second with self-identified vegans recruited via Prolific (N = 340), we found that individuals more frequently engaged in vegan activism (i.e., actions to promote vegan lifestyles) when they had stronger moral convictions (i.e., deontological or consequentialist), greater collective efficacy (i.e., beliefs that vegans can make a positive difference), anger (i.e., when thinking about the reasons why they are vegan), and identification (both with vegans, and with animals). Deontological and consequentialist moral convictions had significant indirect effects on vegan activism via different mediators. We conclude by discussing the implications and importance of studying dietary behavior from a social identity perspective, including its ability to help explain how and why individuals become motivated to not only adopt a certain (e.g., vegan) lifestyle themselves, but to also ‘act collectively’ on behalf of that shared group membership (e.g., promote vegan-friendly behaviors). We also highlight some key insights for policy makers and campaigners aiming to promote plant-based diets.
... Traditional associations of masculinity and meat are being hybridized by vegan men (Greenebaum & Dexter, 2018) to balance traditional masculinity with their veganism to prevent it affecting their relationships and social standing (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Questions remain, however, about virtual spaces of hypermasculine veganism's impact in the activist community, and the underpinning values and intentions of rebranding compassionate ethics within meatless masculinity. ...
Article
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Veganism’s visibility has soared in recent years. Contemporary veganism has built a trident approach of outreach that emphasises health benefits, ethical concerns about animals, and environmentally sustainable consumption. With this growth, there have been opportunities for influencer-activists to profit from positioning themselves as movement leaders. This is often connected with thin, white, wealthy women and the wellness industry, but there is also a changing ‘meatless masculinity’ within vegan influencer-activist spaces. Hegemonic ideals of masculinity around physical strength and virility are being hyper-individualised to ‘sell’ veganism through embodied and cultural performances of ‘redemption narratives’ by vegan influencer-activist men. However, in interviews with vegan men in Britain, their relation to these meatless masculinities was found to be in tension with hegemonic masculinity. Interviewees instead related their veganism to an ungoverning of masculine bodily ideals. Veganism was revealed in the interviews as entangled with men representing themselves as part of a progressive masculinity that engages with feminist ideas, even if they are sometimes misunderstood. In this paper, I explore the prevalence and purpose of these masculinity narratives online through social media examples, before exploring a contradictory growth in the re-thinking and rejection of hegemonic masculinity within the vegan constituency through interviews. I conclude that while vegan masculinities offer the potential for men to be a little less governed by gendered norms there remains a need for vegans to more fully embrace a feminist and intersectional veganism that is not dominated by whiteness and masculinist ideals.
... Embarrassment over meat eating and distancing from the sight of slaughter has a long history dating back to Pythagoras and tied up with concerns about man's place in nature "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you" (Genesis ix.2-3), versus "Take not away the life you cannot give: For all things have a right to live" (Dryden's Ovid),-up to 17th and 18th C tracts and modern animal rights and animal sentience campaigns and research [197,198]. There is resistance to vegetarianism culturally, despite "Veganuary," and converting to some plant-based diets that are heavily processed or engineered corn now 'super-sweet' can increase emissions and may have health risks or be too expensive [199][200][201][202][203]. Our new found feelings about stewardship of animals should extend to different geographies as "out of sight out of mind" may shield us emotionally from slaughter houses but should not work for other human-beings on poor monophagic vegetarian diets [204]. ...
Chapter
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We evolved from herbivores to a meat eating "commons" in hunter-gatherer days and then to a non-egalitarian meat power struggle between classes and countries. Egalitarian-ism, trans-egalitarianism and extremes of inequality and hierarchy revolve around the fair-unfair distribution of meat surpluses and ownership of the means of meat production. Poor people on poor diets with too few micronutrients may explain many inequalities of human capital, height and health and divergent development of individuals and nations. Learning from past successes and collapses from switching trophic levels the lesson is that meat moderation toward the top of Engel's curves, not calorie-centrism, is the best recipe for countries and classes. Improved health with longer lives and higher crystallised intelligence comes with an ample supply of micro-nutrients from animal products namely iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and other methyl-donors (such as choline), and nicotinamide (vitamin B3). We concentrate on nicotinamide whose deficits cause the degenerative condition pellagra that manifests as poor emotional and degenerative cognitive states with stunted lives and complex antisocial and dysbiotic effects caused by and causing poverty.
... The strong influence of the social environment also works contrariwise if traditional meat consumption seems to be the norm, which inhibits the transition towards meat-reducing strategies. For example, anticipated stigmas of the social environment are mentioned as an important barrier for becoming vegetarian (Ruby, 2012) or vegan (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). Furthermore, changing traditional meat-consumption behaviour seems harsh because meat consumption is associated with high levels of status (Schösler et al., 2012;Vanhonacker & Verbeke, 2014), and positive messages from social media, for example, link meat to a healthy lifestyle (Bogueva et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Background Protein transition, i.e. the transition from high levels of traditional meat consumption towards consuming less meat or more plant-based or alternative animal-based proteins, is highly dependent on consumer behaviour. This position paper adds to the literature by integrating the research streams on behavioural sciences and meat reducing strategies, thereby contributing to the use of behavioural science insights in developing meat reducing interventions towards a more plant-based food transition. Scope and approach Meat-reducing strategies involve substituting meat with novel proteins, consumption of less meat or consuming meat less often, and becoming a vegetarian or vegan. Based on previous literature four systematic steps for effective interventions towards behaviour change are described in view of the current literature in the specific context of meat reduction. Finally, emergent strands of future research are identified. Key findings and conclusions The four described steps compromise: (1) identifying the problem and desired behaviour change, (2) examining the main drivers of behaviour change, (3) select fitting interventions, and (4) impact assessment. Based on the meat-reducing literature the key strands for future interventions in the context of protein transition are identified. Moreover, literature gaps are defined. Resulting in an overview of systematic steps for interventions to support behaviour change in the protein transition.
... The latter indicates that consumers either do not know what drives their behaviour or that they do not want to acknowledge this (Nolan et al., 2008). Regarding plant-based food innovations, consumers might not want to acknowledge what drives their behaviour, for concerns of being disapproved by others as a result of acting morally (moral reproach; Bolderdijk and Cornelissen, 2022;Minson and Monin, 2012) or stigmatization for norm-deviating behaviour (Markowski and Roxburgh, 2019). Given the relative novelty of plant-based food innovations in Western markets, consumers may also simply not know of potential benefits of plant-based innovations (Myers and Pettigrew, 2018), making it difficult for consumers to estimate what drives their behaviour. ...
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Food consumption has a significant environmental impact which can be alleviated when consumer adoption of plant-based food innovations is increased. Attempts to increase adoption are often tailored to instrumental product attributes that consumers find important, but our studies show this is not necessarily a prerequisite. The current work aims to examine the role of symbolic product attributes in predicting consumers' adoption intention (Study 1) and whether symbolic product attributes can be leveraged to affect behavioural adoption of a plant-based food innovation (Study 2). Our online study (Study 1) shows that consumers indicate they find symbolic product attributes less important, relative to instrumental considerations like price. However, evaluations of symbolic attributes tied to consumers' self-identity significantly predict consumers’ intention to adopt a plant-based food innovation. At least part of the underlying mechanism pertains to the intrinsic reward of acting sustainably: symbolic attributes predict adoption intention via the feel-good factor of consuming a plant-based food innovation, particularly for consumers with a strong intrinsic motivation to act environmentally-friendly. In a field experiment in a supermarket (Study 2), we found that mainly stressing symbolic attributes tied to social status promotes behavioural adoption, more so than when symbolic attributes tied to self-identity are stressed in a promotional campaign. Together, the studies suggest that leveraging intrinsically rewarding symbolic attributes of plant-based food innovations can be an alternative way to promote consumer adoption.
... Before making a purchase, customers analysing the product on the basis of information from peers, family members and subjective norms are considered as crucial while analysing consumer attitude and purchase intention (Varshneya et al., 2017). Previous studies showed family support as major factor in adopting and maintaining vegan diet (Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019). With the advent of internet nowadays, one can easily get influenced through various social media platforms that have a direct and indirect impact on individual attitude and may disturb his/her behaviour (Tan & Ooi, 2018), which further effects the purchase intension (Ishibashia & Yada, 2019). ...
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... Several studies have investigated consumer attitudes to alternative protein sources including insects, lentils, and meat substitutes based on plants and cell cultures (Hartmann & Siegrist, 2017;Lonkila & Kaljonen, 2021). Consumers are resistant to reducing their meat consumption for numerous reasons (Collier et al., 2021), including habit and tradition (MacDiarmid et al., 2016), adherence to social norms and fear of social stigma for rejecting animal products (Cheah, Sadat Shimul, Liang, & Phau, 2020;Markowski & Roxburgh, 2019), willingness to pay (Carlsson, Kataria, & Lampi, 2022), perceiving meat as necessary for good health, and enjoying its sensory properties (Piazza et al., 2015). The latter is especially important as emphasis of environmental and health aspects is unlikely to reduce meat consumption among taste driven consumers (Apostolidis & McLeay, 2016). ...
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This article aims to comprehend vegan identity construction through consumption. For this, a meta-synthesis of the accomplished results was made. It was conceived according to Sandelowski and & Barroso (2006) model, in order to compile the results into a grounded theory. As the analyses were complete, a theoretical model composed by eight microcategories and a central category was assembled. Results showed that reflection about consumption is one of the primordial factors on vegan identity construction, since this lifestyle imposes to its supporters the need to act consciously towards their purchase actions. In addition, it is by means of these actions that the defended ethic and moral considerations are converted into practical actions. Therefore, it is observed that reflection and consumption behavior are responsible for differentiating the vegan public from the others and what allows the construction and affirmation of its identity.
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Social media has experienced rapid growth in recent years and has been subject of discussions on a wide range of topics including new lifestyles and eating habits, providing a great opportunity to obtain spontaneous consumer information. In this sense, the present work aimed to understand the perception of Twitter® users about themes of veganism and plant‐based diets. The social networking data mining methodology was applied to measure the relationship between both terms. The significant differences found were analyzed using the global chi‐square (χ2) test, and their sources of variation were investigated by the chi‐square per cell. The results indicate that the vegan group's posts are more related to the categories of recipes, trends, criticism, and negative comments about veganism, being more often citing sources when compared to the other group. The results of the plant‐based diet group are more significantly related to the impacts of nutrition, physical activity and consumer health. In conclusion, Twitter® has proved to be an interesting tool for obtaining data on (re) produced food publications on social media and their results can guide the market and the academic environment in creating new products, services and marketing strategies to answer the needs of specific consumers.
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Often stereotyped as being apathetic to the human suffering, the American vegan movement has historically failed to build alliances with other social justice movements. As intersectional feminism gains a foothold in the movement and external political crises challenge the movement’s frame of reference, the role that identity plays in movement progress has become a serious concern. Using the 2016 election as a flashpoint, this article considers if the identity backlash characterized by the Trump campaign finds parallels in the American vegan movement. A survey of 287 American vegans finds limited evidence of Trump veganism, defined here as a single-issue focus on speciesism that rejects the relevance of human-experienced systems of oppression. However, respondents do find that movement diversity efforts are insufficient, especially when controlling for race and gender. Most respondents were ethically-motivated vegans, liberal voters, and intersectionally-oriented activists who reported multiple engagements with various leftist movements. Only four percent of respondents voted Trump, while 14% agreed with or were neutral about Trump’s campaign promise to put “America first”. Those who were vegan for reasons of self-interest and had been vegan for less than a year were significantly more likely to support Trump’s conservative agenda and were slightly less likely to participate in other social movements.
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High levels of meat consumption are increasingly being criticised for ethical, environmental, and social reasons. Plant-based meat substitutes have been identified as healthy sources of protein that, in comparison to meat, offer a number of social, environmental and health benefits and may play a role in reducing meat consumption. However, there has been a lack of research on the role they can play in the policy agenda and how specific meat substitute attributes can influence consumers to replace partially replace meat in their diets. In this paper, we examine consumers’ preferences for attributes of meat and meat substitute products and develop consumer segments based on these preferences. The results of a choice experiment with 247 UK consumers, using food labels and mince (ground meat), illustrate that the type of mince, fat content, country of origin and price are major factors that influence choice. Carbon footprint, method of production and brand play a secondary role in determining consumers’ choices of meat/meat substitutes. Latent class analysis is used to identify six consumer segments: price conscious, healthy eaters, taste driven, green, organic and vegetarian consumers which have different socio-demographic characteristics and meat consumption patterns. Future interventions and policies aimed at reducing meat consumption including labelling, provision of more information, financial incentives, educational campaigns and new product development will be more effective if they are holistic and target specific consumer segments, instead of focus on the average consumer.
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This article reports upon research on vegan transition, which I bring into dialogue with Sara Ahmed’s figure of the killjoy. Ahmed’s work on affect and the feminist killjoy is found to be apt for considering contemporary vegans and their transgression of normative scripts of happiness and commensality in a dominant meat and dairy consuming culture. The decentring of joy and happiness is also found to be integral to the critical deconstructive work of the vegan killjoy. Ahmed’s ideas further complement the frame of practice theory that I draw upon to understand the process of transition especially in the sense of opposing the meanings of dominant practices. Although food and veganism are not commented upon by Ahmed, the vegan subject constitutes, I argue, a potent further example of what she terms an “affect alien” who must willfully struggle against a dominant affective order and community. Drawing upon interviews with 40 vegans based in the UK, I illustrate examples of contestation and negotiation by vegans and those close to them. The article finds in the figure of the killjoy not only a frame by which to partly understand the negotiation of relationships between vegans and non-vegans but also an opportunity for further intersectional labour between veganism and feminism.
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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.
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Recent theorizing suggests the 4Ns-that is, the belief that eating meat is natural, normal, necessary, and nice-are common rationalizations people use to defend their choice of eating meat. However, such theorizing has yet to be subjected to empirical testing. Six studies were conducted on the 4Ns. Studies 1a-1b demonstrated that the 4N classification captures the vast majority (83%-91%) of justifications people naturally offer in defense of eating meat. In Study 2, individuals who endorsed the 4Ns tended also to objectify (dementalize) animals and included fewer animals in their circle of moral concern, and this was true independent of social dominance orientation. Subsequent studies (Studies 3-5) showed that individuals who endorsed the 4Ns tend not to be motivated by ethical concerns when making food choices, are less involved in animal-welfare advocacy, less driven to restrict animal products from their diet, less proud of their animal-product decisions, tend to endorse Speciesist attitudes, tend to consume meat and animal products more frequently, and are highly committed to eating meat. Furthermore, omnivores who strongly endorsed the 4Ns tended to experience less guilt about their animal-product decisions, highlighting the guilt-alleviating function of the 4Ns. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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The proportion of individuals choosing to follow a vegan diet has increased in recent years. The choice is made for different reasons, primarily concern for animals (ethics) and health, which may impact both specific food choices and other lifestyle behaviors linked to health outcomes. To determine the extent to which the reason for following a vegan diet was associated with health behaviors, we conducted an online survey recruiting an international sample of 246 individuals who reported adhering to a vegan diet. We hypothesized that compared to those following the diet for ethical reasons, those doing so for health reasons would consume foods with higher nutritional value and engage in other healthier lifestyle behaviors. Our hypotheses were partially supported in that those citing health reasons (n=45) reported eating more fruit (U=3503.00, p=0.02) and fewer sweets (U=3347.00, p<0.01) than did those citing ethical reasons (n=201). Individuals endorsing ethical reasons reported being on the diet longer (U=3137.00, p<0.01), and more frequent consumption of soy (U=2936.00, p<0.01), foods rich in vitamin D (U=3441.00, p=0.01), high-polyphenol beverages (U=3124.50, p<0.01), and vitamin supplements (vitamin D: χ(2)=4.65, p=0.04; vitamin B12: χ(2)=4.46, p=0.03) than did those endorsing health reasons. As these factors may affect outcome in studies investigating the impact of vegan diets on health, they should be taken into account when studying persons following a vegan diet. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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Identifying as a vegan is a public declaration of one's identity, morals and lifestyle. Veganism is more than a diet; it is a philosophy and ethic. However, not all vegans hold the same norms and values. The differences are often determined by the reasons why one chooses to become a vegan. Using Coffman's theory of impression management and the presentation of self, this qualitative study examines how sixteen self-defined ethical vegans negotiate contradictions in their ethics and behavior. The vegans construct a sense of authenticity through accommodating strategies when they feel inauthentic. This is a two-prong process. They present a narrative of themselves in relation to the “other”-those they define as health vegans-and in relation to other ethical vegans. Through these narratives, this paper explores how these vegans negotiate the difficulties of living in an animal-based consumer-driven society in a manner that preserves their ethics. Additionally, this paper observes how they cope when their behavior contradicts their identity as authentic vegans.
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The present study examined intergroup judgments made between four groups of non-meat eaters: health vegetarians; ethical vegetarians; health vegans, and ethical vegans. Consistent with hypotheses based on horizontal hostility and the need to maintain ingroup distinctiveness, ethical vegetarians gave unfavorable evaluations to health vegetarians relative to vegans, especially when the mainstream omnivore group was made salient. Contrary to expectations, vegans gave relatively more favorable evaluations to ethical vegetarians than health vegetarians when mainstream salience was low. This was especially true for vegans who were motivated primarily by ethical concerns. When mainstream salience was high, vegans did not distinguish between the vegetarian subgroups. Results suggest that one's motives for abstaining from meat often play a larger role in this type of intergroup perceptions than one's dietary practices.
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This study explores vegetarians’ and semi-vegetarians’ motives for reducing their meat intake. Participants are categorized as either vegetarians, who remove all meat from their diet, semi-vegetarians, who significantly reduce their meat intake (at least three days a week), or light semi-vegetarians, who mildly reduce their meat intake (once or twice a week). The results show that most differences appear between vegetarians and both groups of semi-vegetarians. Animal rights and ecological concerns, together with taste preferences, predict a vegetarian diet, while an increase in health motives increases the odds of being semi-vegetarian. Yet, the choice between a semi-vegetarian and a light semi-vegetarian diet can also be predicted based on animal rights concerns and taste preferences. To conclude, even within each diet group, subgroups with different motives appear, and it is recommended that future researchers pay more attention to these differences.
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Thirty-two vegans were interviewed in order to examine the reasons for becoming vegan, the sustaining motivation to persist, the interpersonal and intrapersonal impact of the diet and associated practices, and the vegans’ assessment of omnivores’ eating practices. Interviews were analyzed using a model that diagrams the process of becoming vegan provided by McDonald (2000). Participants reported strained professional and personal relationships as a result of their diet and beliefs. Vegan diets were associated with an increase in physical, eudaemonic, and spiritual well-being.
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This paper uses quality theory to identify opportunities for the meat sector that are consistent with trends in meat consumption. Meat consumption has increased and is likely to continue into the future. Growth is largely driven by white meats, with poultry in particular of increasing importance globally. The influence of factors such as income and price is likely decline over time so that other factors, such as quality, will become more important. Quality is complex and consumers' quality expectations may not align with experienced quality due to misconception of certain intrinsic cues. Establishing relevant and effective cues, based on extrinsic and credence attributes, could offer advantage on the marketplace. The use of extrinsic cues can help convey quality characteristics for eating quality, but also for more abstract attributes that reflect individual consumer concerns e.g. health/nutrition, and collective concerns, e.g. sustainability. However, attributes are not of equal value to all consumers. Thus consumer segmentation and production differentiation is needed.
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Contemporary families and food systems are both becoming more dynamic and complex, and current associations between adult family meals and body mass index (BMI) are not well understood. This investigation took a new approach by examining diverse settings and sources of food for family dinners in relationship to BMI in a cross-sectional nationally representative survey of 360 US adults age 18-85 living with family members. In this sample, 89% of adults ate family dinners at least 5 days per week and almost all ate family dinners cooked and eaten at home. About half of these adults also ate family dinners at restaurants, fast food places, or ate takeout food at home, and less common were family dinners at homes of relatives or friends. Family dinners eaten at fast food places, but not other settings or sources, were significantly associated with higher BMI. Overall, adult family dinners were commonplace, usually involved home cooking, and when at fast food places may be related with higher adult body weights.
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Meat consumption patterns worldwide have dramatically changed over the past 50 years, putting pressure on the environment and leading – especially in industrialised and emerging countries – to unbalanced diets. Given demographic projections and foresight reports, the question is raised whether there are limits to the meat consumption. Based on data from 120 countries, this article analyses the evolution of meat consumption in general and the relationship between meat consumption and income in particular. The study shows evidence for an inverted U-shaped relationship between meat consumption and income, meaning that – at a certain level of income – average meat consumption will stagnate or even decline. The results can help policy makers to develop incentives for both environmental and health policies and offers stakeholders opportunities for further research and innovation.
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Purpose – This article analyses the barriers perceived by consumers to lowering their meat consumption and adopting a plant-based diet, which means a diet that includes mainly non-meat foods, yet it can contain both plant and meat meals. Design/methodology/approach – The prevalence of different barriers for following a plant-based diet is addressed, as well as consumer profiles considering socio-demographics, values and meat consumption. The data was collected in 2010 by a survey questionnaire, sent to 4,000 randomly selected Finns (response rate = 47.3, n = 1,890). Findings – Different types of elements are perceived as essential barriers to adopting a plant-based diet, including meat enjoyment, eating routines, health conceptions, and difficulties in preparing plant foods. However, these barriers are strongly correlated, hence indicating that consumers may not make qualitative difference between different barrier elements. There are distinct socio-demographic, value and especially meat consumption frequency differences between consumers regarding the barrier perception. It is typical of male gender, young age, rural residence, household type of families with children, low education, absence of vegetarian friends or relatives, valuation of traditions and wealth, and high meat consumption frequency. Social implications – High meat consumption is related to many environmental and public health problems. The results call for multifaceted policy implications that should concentrate on different barrier elements and certain value and socio-demographic groups. Importantly, focus should be not only on the group with the strongest barrier perception but also on those who could be especially willing to make changes in their meat consumption patterns. One practical implication could be to increase the availability of plant foods in public cafeterias or school canteens, as decrease in meat consumption frequency is strongly in correlation with the alleviation of the barrier perception. Originality/value – Information about socio-demographic, values and meat consumption differences between consumers provide opportunities for focusing policy actions to assist consumers to better adopt a plant-based diet.
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Vegetarianism is a dynamic and fluid lifestyle that can be described as unique for each person who practices. Vegetarianism traditionally falls outside of the accepted eating patterns in Western nations; furthermore, the meat-free lifestyle can be classified as a form of positive deviance. Semistructured interviews were conducted with self-described vegetarians regarding eating patterns and motivations within the initial adoption of the lifestyle. Vegetarian vocabularies of motive were categorized according to established deviance theory referred to as accounts. This newly practicing, or developmental, stage of vegetarianism was more likely to fall on the less strict side of the vegetarian continuum for eating patterns and the motives had a propensity to be monothematic.