Notice that veganism seems to be everywhere these days?
In popular cinema, there is the hot topic documentary What the Health and the narrative film Okja. Let’s not forget the upcoming Louie Psihoyos film The Game Changers, which is produced by James Cameron.
Vegan magazines like Vegan Health and Fitness, Vegan Life, and VegNews are flying off magazine shelves across the country. Vegan characters are popping up in books and television shows left and right.
In my recent travels to towns like Lubbock and Fredericksburg in Texas, I found that people are all too happy to cater to my vegan lifestyle.
Now, Harvard Magazine has reported on the rise of the vegans.
In its July-August 2017 issue, Sophia Nguyen muses on her former perceptions of veganism as tasteless to how she now views it as trendy. When Tyson foods, the biggest U.S. meat producer, is investing in plant-based protein, it’s hard to look away from veganism when considering the future of food.
Nguyen observes: “Veganism has ascended to the astral plane of aspirational living.”
She also reported that Nina Gheihman, a sociology graduate student at Harvard, is researching the social aspects of the spread of veganism. While its initial rise was closely tied to animal rights, the student reports that it has often been associated with a ‘lifestyle movement’ in recent times.
Of course, vegans have long known that there are many different motivating factors for people to live a vegan lifestyle. It offers health benefits for many people, and many people who are concerned with the environment switch to a vegan diet because animal agriculture is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions.
Gheihman is looking at how vegan ‘lifestyle advocates’ have affected the nature of lifestyle activism. She is taking a look at how they have made veganism more inclusive for those who may not be able to completely follow the ideology in all parts of their lives.
She is observing how vegan business leaders change things. She is also assessing how the creation of films, books, and blogs is having an impact. Yet another aspect she is looking at is ‘interpretive work’.
For one thing, she is looking at Tom Brady, and how his promotion of vegan meal-kits from Purple Carrot (a vegan start-up) can help people see veganism as being in line with ‘the macho physicality of pro football’.
Gheihman’s important work will include interviews and field research, and she will also look at veganism in France and Israel. According to Harvard Magazine, Nina Gheihman follows a vegan lifestyle herself, and she is involved with organizations like the Harvard Vegan Society and the Ivy League Vegan Conference.
The rise of vegan culture has only just begun, according to multiple studies that report on how the number of people following a vegan lifestyle is growing by leaps and bounds.
How have you noticed veganism becoming more prominent in your area?
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