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STUDY: Is Being Vegan Stylish or Stigmatizing?

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Being vegan is more common than is disclosed. Why do vegans feel the need to keep their meatless existence under wraps? Because they are stigmatized for 'disrupting social conventions'.

WENDY L. PATRICK: ‘For many people, being vegan is part of a healthy lifestyle. We all know people who proudly identify with a meatless diet, sharing recipes and restaurant recommendations, often revealing veganism as the secret to their svelte figure or high energy level. But other people are private about their plant-based diets. Even superstar Miley Cyrus reportedly took close to a year to publicly announce her dietary transformation to veganism… So if being vegan is more common than is disclosed, why do people feel the need to keep their meatless existence under wraps? Research has some answers…

Kelly L. Markowski and Susan Roxburgh (2019) examined how stigmatization may impact the decision to go meat free. In an article entitled “If I became a vegan, my family and friends would hate me,” they examine how vegans and others who avoid meat are sometimes stigmatized for “disrupting social conventions” with respect to food. Investigating the subject through a series of focus groups, they found that people who are not vegan anticipate stigma associated with vegan eating.

Two strategies they identified through which non-vegans attempt to circumvent this identified stigma were social and behavioral distancing. Markowski and Roxburgh note that the presence of this “vegan stigma” might prevent people from adopting a plant-based diet. They note the importance of their results in connection with the public health concern related to meat over-consumption, and public health initiatives which encourage plant-based diet options.

Many people would enjoy enormous health benefits from a plant-based diet, and should not be afraid to make the switch. And they would be in good company, as more vegans come forward all the time. From A-listers to athletes and movie stars to models, veganism is trending. Is it cool to be vegan? If you are taking your cue from famous personalities, the answer appears to be yes… Some celebs made the switch due to their love of animals, others for health reasons. But regardless of the rationale, their open embrace of a plant-based diet as part of a healthy lifestyle is slowly replacing stigma with style’.  SOURCE…

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