Media engagement with veganism: Reasons to be cheerful?

Research output: Other contribution


With a significant rise in online searches for the term ‘vegan’, and Veganuary reporting a record 250,000 pledges (in 2019), veganism is being presented in mainstream media and popular culture as accessible and desirable. From celebrities to ‘ordinary’ people, vegans are seemingly no longer associated with hostility and faddishness, and are instead becoming ‘cool’. Invited by the Vegan Society to reflect upon these changing representations, in this magazine article I highlight some emerging trends in media and cultural engagement with veganism, exploring the advantages and challenges. These include: the ‘healthification’ of veganism through gender norms of hyper masculinity and white femininity; the increasing availability of vegan products that normalizes veganism, but shifts attention away from ethical issues of food production; the welcome move towards veganism as an ethical response to climate change (particularly amongst young people), but which also leads to the downplaying of animal welfare issues more traditionally associated with becoming vegan. I suggest ways forward for media representations as: making visible the interconnections between animal, environmental and health reasons for veganism, which promotes veganism as an ethical relationship with non human beings and with each other; and increasing the visibility of vegans of colour and vegans from a wider social demographic.
Original languageEnglish
TypeCommentary/opinion piece
Media of outputMagazine
Number of pages2
Place of PublicationBirmingham, UK
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019


  • veganism
  • media representations
  • climate change
  • Ethical consumption: everyday


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