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Vegetarianism: Movement Or Moment: Promoting A Lifestyle For Cult Change

Donna Maurer

Publication Year: 2002

Vegetarianism seems to be increasing in popularity and acceptance in the United States and Canada, yet, quite surprisingly, the percentage of the population practicing vegetarian diets has not changed dramatically over the past 30 years. People typically view vegetarianism as a personal habit or food choice, even though organizations in North America have been promoting vegetarianism as a movement since the 1850s. This book examines the organizational aspects of vegetarianism and tries to explain why the predominant movement strategies have not successfully attracted more people to adopt a vegetarian identity.Vegetarianism: Movement or Moment? is the first book to consider the movement on a broad scale from a social science perspective. While this book takes into account the unique history of North American vegetarianism and the various reasons why people adopt vegetarian diets, it focuses on how movement leaders' beliefs regarding the dynamics of social change contributes to the selection of particular strategies for attracting people to vegetarianism. In the context of this focus, this book highlights several controversies about vegetarianism that have emerged in nutrition and popular media over the past 30 years.

Published by: Temple University Press

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvi

In the late 1980s, when I was studying for my master’s degree at East Tennessee State University, I became interested in the sociological aspects of food and eating, in general, and vegetarianism, in particular. There were few vegetarians in northeast Tennessee back then, and during the six years that I lived...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-

Many people involved in the vegetarian movement contributed to this project by participating in interviews, completing surveys, responding to requests for information, and providing information about their groups’ activities. Others, many of whom I do not even know by name, influenced how...

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1. What Is Vegetarianism? And Who Are the Vegetarians?

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pp. 1-21

What is vegetarianism? Is it a diet or a lifestyle? Is it a social movement or a bunch of people who happen to eat the same way? Is it a passing fad or a developing trend? When meat eaters hear the term “vegetarian,” they typically think of an ovo-lacto-vegetarian, someone who eats no...

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2. Vegetarian Diets and the Health Professions: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Issues

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pp. 22-46

Although people in the nineteenth century often linked vegetarian diets with such social causes as abolition and temperance, Graham and other charismatic health leaders successfully encouraged many people to adopt vegetarian diets to cure or assuage health problems. Today, most North American...

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3. Charting the Contemporary Vegetarian Movement in the Social Movement Field

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pp. 47-69

Social movement activity is much more complex than it seems at first glance. When we think of a social movement, we might think of a single entity consistently acting as a unit. In reality, however, a movement comprises many parts that may or may not work together as a functioning whole. At the same...

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4. Vegetarianism: Expressions of Ideology in Vegetarian Organizations

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pp. 70-88

Vegetarianism, the movement’s ideology, criticizes meat eating and offers a vision for a meatless world; it is a set of ideas and values that people and organizations can draw from and combine in different ways. In his early treatment of social movements, sociologist Herbert Blumer defined ideology as...

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5. The Beliefs and Strategies of Vegetarian Movement Leaders

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pp. 89-116

Why do movement leaders choose some strategies and overlook others? How do they determine which ones will be the most effective? Sociologists recognize several important structural factors that shape social movement strategies, including material and human resources, political constraints,...

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6. Organizational Strategy in Action: Promoting a Vegetarian Collective Identity

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pp. 117-130

To varying degrees, vegetarian leaders and their respective organizations adopt an inclusive approach to promoting vegetarianism that embraces as positive all movement toward vegetarian diets. For example, even though less than one-third of the twelve million U.S. adults who self-identify as vegetarians...

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7. The Food Industry’s Role in Promoting and Gaining Acceptance for Vegetarian Diets

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pp. 131-140

Shopping for vegetarian foods today is much easier than it was twenty years ago. Veggie burgers, “not dogs,” and tofu can be found in most grocery stores, even in remote areas. Most communities have at least one local health food store, and many support a food co-operative (or co-op), making it...

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8. What Is the Future of the Vegetarian Movement?

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pp. 141-150

In the late 1960s and 1970s—spurred by the hippie counterculture, by such seminal works as Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet and Singer’s Animal Liberation, and by dietitians’ and physicians’ increasing acceptance of vegetarianism —the North American vegetarian movement gained significant...

Appendix A: Methodology

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pp. 151-152

Appendix B: Vegetarian Websites

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pp. 153-

Notes

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pp. 155-182

Select Bibliography

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pp. 183-186

Index

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pp. 187-192


E-ISBN-13: 9781439905524

Publication Year: 2002