Why Is the Vegan Line in the Dining Hall Always the Shortest? Understanding Vegan Stigma

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Abstract

Two studies investigated why vegan stigma occurs and why people who eat meat are often unaccepting of vegans. Study 1 measured vegan stigma based on Link and Phelan’s (2001) model and proposed that the communal food hypothesis provides a partial explanation for vegan stigma. Study 1 revealed that labeling is the most salient dimension of vegan stigma, and being able to share food with others was important to participants, which might explain why vegans are stigmatized. Study 2 explored how pro- and antivegan messages induced emotional response to veganism and the roles of argument strength and depth of message processing in perception of stigma. Study 2 found that anger and discomfort were strong moderators between messages, argument strength, and stigma response. Together these studies provide evidence to explain why vegans are stigmatized.

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