Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles

Exiting veganism: Identity residue, reaction or ambivalence?

From Rebecca Gregson and Jared Piazza,
December 2021

Why might some ex-vegans react strongly to their former lifestyle, while others seek to gradually renegotiate the boundaries of their dietary convictions? The study of vegan drift is too nascent to draw firm conclusions about what differentiates such individuals.

exit sign
Photo credit: niklas schoenberger, Unsplash

Veganism is a dietary lifestyle that boasts of benefits to the planet and personal health, underpinned by a moral philosophy. More than a fad, for many, veganism is a part of who they are. Indeed, studies have found that, relative to vegetarians, self-identified vegans report that their diet is highly central to their identity. Vegans also tend to attribute high-levels of sentience to animals, identify with animals, and strongly support animal rights.

Nonetheless, maintaining a vegan lifestyle represents a significant challenge for many people. A Fauntalytics study estimated that there are approximately 5 times as many former vegans than there are practising vegans. This begs the question: what happens when a person abandons their vegan identity? Does the ethical framework that underpins their veganism also loosen?

  • Abandoning a group identity: What do we know?
  • Like religion, do we see vegan ‘residue’?
  • Reactive and ambivalent ex-vegans
  • Reflections, caveats, and conclusions


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

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