Stories of Veganism: An Ecolinguistic Analysis

Leto, Mario Alfonso (2022) Stories of Veganism: An Ecolinguistic Analysis. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/9TW5NL24

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Veganism is an often maligned but ultimately essential way of living if our planet is to have a future. With animal agriculture being the single largest contributor to greenhouse gasses and environmental degradation, veganism is the most immediate and effective way to begin reducing our impact on the natural world before the systems that support life collapse beyond repair. Therefore, encouraging more people to adopt a vegan lifestyle is imperative. It is also understandably difficult. The center of the vegan lifestyle is diet and diet is connected to many aspects of life that are most important for us, including health and nutrition, family, culture, and identity. In addition to that, negative representations of veganism in media help to discourage non-vegans from making that already difficult decision. If veganism were represented in a more positive way, more people may be inclined to consider it in the interest of health: the health of our bodies, the health of our minds, the health of our communities and the health of our planet. To that end, my overall goal in this research is to find positive representations of veganism to replace the negative representations in the interest of encouraging more people to become vegan. To conduct my ecolinguistic research, I used purposeful sampling to identify sources with a high potential for containing representations of veganism. My sources include full-length online news articles, online user comments, a television program, a podcast, a documentary film and cookbooks. I linguistically analyzed my data using the linguistic theories outlined in the ecolinguistics framework, and subsequently uncovered 67 representations of veganism in total. After evaluating those representations against my ecological value system, I coded 38 representations as destructive (negative) and 29 representations as beneficial (positive). My findings indicate that the most common destructive representation was VEGANISM IS UNHEALTHY. It was linguistically constructed primarily with facticity patterns and appraisal patterns. Inversely, my findings indicate that the most common beneficial representation was VEGANISM IS HEALTHY, which was linguistically constructed primarily with narrative structures and appraisal patterns. Most of the beneficial representations inversely align with the most prominent destructive representations. Overall, through this research, I was able to identify some of the most useful linguistic constructions to communicate the beneficial representations of veganism, and have offered some real-world evidence of their success.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Representations of veganism; Vegan diet; Veganism and health; Veganism, environmental benefits; Perceptions of vegans; Ecolinguistic analysis
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human geography. Human ecology. Anthropogeography
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA773 Personal health and hygiene including clothing, bathing, exercise, travel, nutrition, sleep, sex hygiene
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2024 12:58
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2024 13:03

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