Veg(an) Tales: Vegan Identity Making in the United States
Keywords:veganism, identity construction, Vegan Society, Vegans in United States
Approaching veganism through the lens of race and class provides an interesting perspective and alternate understanding of the meaning of the diet and accessibility for marginalized groups in the U.S. and the way U.S. capitalism affects its mainstream construction and value. The anti-hegemonic foundational principles of veganism are the antithesis to the hegemonic foundational principles of United States culture, causing great tensions in the perception of veganism. Attributes of Christianity reproduce and naturalize dominant ideologies that support speciesism and anthropocentrism, which work to normalize the manipulation and exploitation of non-human animal bodies and livelihoods. These tensions manifest in stereotyping as a method of delegitimizing the movements’ deeper purposes, making identity-making complicated. Positing veganism in the current capitalist framework adds another layer of nuance because of the methods in which products are available and marketed; understanding aspects of consumption and the breadth of the economic incentives involved aid in grasping the mainstreaming of veganism and the predominant media representations that center the white experience, resulting in the erasure of other cultural and racial experiences.
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