Date of Award

5-24-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Charles Klein

Subjects

Veganism -- Social aspects, African Americans -- Social conditions -- 1975-, Minorities -- Nutrition -- United States

DOI

10.15760/honors.569

Abstract

This study seeks to explore the diversity in perspectives regarding veganism and its intersections with race, food justice, and other identities such as class and gender, in order to answer the following research questions: Do the experiences of vegans of color differ in their relationships to other members of the vegan community? How do vegan politics intersect with racial politics and food politics? Do vegans of color show discomfort or resistance to whiteness and white privilege within mainstream vegan networks? Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted among vegans of color, as well as three interviews among white vegans to use this data as a point of comparison. Interview questions covered topics including identity, interpersonal relationships, community involvement, food access, and diversity. The content of the interviews was then transcribed and analyzed by coding for key concepts discussed by the interviewees. Key themes and trends of experiences emerged among vegans of color, including social norms of vegan communities, leadership and redefining activism, and food politics. These observations are situated within the context of mainstream vegan networks. Suggestions are made for creating a more inclusive veganism, including recognizing the challenges, culturally appropriate veganism, incorporation of human rights, and diversifying the leadership.

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