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University of Portsmouth. Centre for European and International Studies Research.
Veganism: Ethics and Lifestyle

This project seeks to investigate perspectives on veganism in terms of synergies and tensions between the moral values associated with the welfare of animals, the principles associated with sustainability, and the values associated with healthy living. This project seeks to investigate perspectives on veganism in terms of synergies and tensions between the moral values associated with the welfare of animals, the principles associated with sustainability, and the values associated with healthy living.   Historically, veganism has an ethical dimension that extends beyond diet to preclude the human use of any animal-based products (e.g. in clothes and accessories) and products and methods that involve the abuse of animals (e.g. chemical products that are tested on animals).   Individuals who care about animals often feel they are confirming the substance of their concern by conducting their lives around their view about a moral position that humans should refrain from inflicting harm on nonhumans. This ethical veganism is a form of consumer boycott that is regarded as a display of moral integrity.  In lifestyle veganism the ethical dimension is replaced with an effort to achieve dietary insurance against risks to health.  Thus, lifestyle veganism is said to replace the being of the ethical conduct of life with the doing of the consumer who is more concerned with her or his health.  

The project team aims to:

*       explore the complexities of ethical veganism and lifestyle veganism,

*       examine marketing strategies for vegan products,

*       investigate national trends in veganism,

*       compare and contrast the perspectives of ethical and lifestyle vegans

The project team is based in the Milldam Campus in the School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies.  The team is involved in other collaborative work, including:

*       (In Preparation) Social Research Ethics SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Series, 4 Volumes, co-editors Barry Smart, Kay Peggs and Joseph Burridge.

*       (2013) Observation Methods, SAGE Benchmarks in Social Research Series, 4 Volumes, co-editors Barry Smart, Kay Peggs and Joseph Burridge, Vol I p 393; Vol II p 448; Vol III p 355; Vol IV p 355.

Members

Kay Peggs (Veganism Ethics and Lifestyle Project Leader)

Kay is Reader in Sociology and is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.  Her current research interests include the human/nonhuman divide, intersectionality and complex inequalities, and social ethics and moral consideration. She has published widely on animals in society.

Barry Smart

Barry is Professor of Sociology.  He has published widely in the fields of classical and contemporary social thought, critical theory, fiscal sociology and economic transformation of modernity, cultural and economic analyses of consumption, environmental consequences of consumerism, as well as social and historical analyses of sport. 

Joseph Burridge

Joseph is Principal Lecturer in Sociology.  He is a cultural sociologist and discourse analyst whose main research interests centre on food.  He has explored previously the discursive construction of 'identities' in various social conflicts, and has analysed a broad range of materials, including parliamentary debates, campaign posters, and the content of newspapers and magazines. 

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