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Study: Conservatives less likely to stay vegan

Discussion in 'The Vegan Forum' started by Indian Summer, Sep 26, 2017.

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  1. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    More: Conservatives Are Less Likely To Stay Vegan, New Study Says (22. September 2017)

    Study (full text): Conservatism predicts lapses from vegetarian/vegan diets to meat consumption (through lower social justice concerns and social support) - ScienceDirect by Gordon Hodson and Megan Earle of Brock University, Canada, to be published in Appetite, Volume 120, 1 January 2018, Pages 75-81
     
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  2. Andy_T

    Andy_T Addicted Poster Forum Moderator

    Location:
    Hannover, Germany
    Thank you for sharing, a very interesting article!!!

     
  3. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Famous Member

    Conclusions of this study make logical sense. If you think that less beef is ideal for the environment or health you are more likely to give in to cravings than if you think it is a clear moral wrong to eat meat. And also yeah if you live in some right wing state it must be very lonely to be vegetarian or vegan.

    Recently, Jeremy Corbyn's spokesman had to play down the fact that he is (mostly) vegan. It is barely a political topic at all today. I think that will change. I think there will come a time - perhaps by around the middle of this century - when animal rights and vegetarianism will become a more popular, mainstream political topic and be a left/right divide. Most left wing politicians and activists will be vegetarian, and in fact it will become not just common but maybe even expected that left wing politicians be at least vegetarian.

    Left wing politicians will, I predict, over the coming decades increasingly advocate for the removal of subsidies, taxes to meat, improvement of welfare standards and maybe even the abolition of factory farming in some cases, while right wing politicians will defend the jobs in the livestock industry, the right to choose meat as an individual, point to small gains made in welfare standards already and say that there are more important issues and that human issues have to come first.
     
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  4. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    I wonder if there are alternatives avenues to the hearts of conservatives. For example, the idea of purity of mind, body and spirit through the avoidance of animal products.
     
  5. Andy_T

    Andy_T Addicted Poster Forum Moderator

    Location:
    Hannover, Germany
    That would be working on the assumptions that conservatives do, indeed, have something that can be referred to as "hearts" (as opposed to just physical organs pumping the blood through their bodies).

    For many I have met (especially those who identify as US conservatives following the GOP) I find that a bit doubtful ;)

    So unless it promises to lower their taxes, few will consider it attractive...
     
  6. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Famous Member

    Very harsh indeed! Talking to them like that isn't the way forward. OK, I see your winky face but perhaps you are also making a serious point here.

    I think the way to conservatives is perhaps to come out with a combo ethics+environment+health argument, accept that some people won't go vegan and try and get them to eat less meat. In terms of ethics, conservatives often have good ethics when it comes to their family, neighbours and so on, the difficulty is getting them to expand their already good ethics to things beyond their horizon (and I mean that literally).

    So linking pet cruelty to animal cruelty, linking animal effects on the environment to local issues, and so on. Yes it's an uphill struggle with conservatives but we shouldn't give up.

    Also, some people can be more left wing on some issues even if they are more right than others.
     
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  7. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Famous Member

    This chart on technology adoption lifecycle can also apply to ideas like veganism. Today vegetarianism is in the stage of "early adopters" and veganism is either "innovators" or maybe just going into "early adopters." Ignore the comment about twitter - it's out of date since the graph is from 2009. Twitter is now being used by the late majority.

    [​IMG]
    Source: http://www.trendsspotting.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/early_adopters_twitter2.PNG

    The key thing is that people are in each of one of these categories. What this means in practice is that if you are a "late majority" person with respect to a certain issue (or just in general) someone can say to you in 1996, look at this, it's called the internet, and the person says "I can't see a use for it, I can get books from the library when I need info, and keep in touch with people by phone. It'll never catch on and I'll never use it." The exact same person will then have set up a facebook account eventually in about 2010 when they see other friends and family have done so.

    So the point is people will adopt at a given time according to how many other users there are, and not according to the underlying arguments.

    I think this same curve can work in ideological arguments. Relatively more conservatives will be late majority or laggards. The exact same person who will tell you today "my body just tells me I need meat" will be mostly or entirely vegetarian as soon as 50-70% of population in their country/ social circle becomes vegetarian (were that to happen in their lifetime). They will then make some excuses to justify the contradiction with their older position, or just conveniently forget it.

    Some of this is because that have insufficient intellectual ideology, both in terms of ethics (not ethical enough to not do something that is neither legal or socially unacceptable) and intelligence (not smart enough to think differently to others). And some of it is just practical. I had a mobile phone in 1998 and it was fairly useless since I only knew two other people that had one. (Although funnily enough years later everyone I tell this too seems to have a story about how they had a mobile phone in 1996.)

    Bottom line: as long as vegans are only 1% or 5% of the population there are some people that will never join them. The most important step in convincing them to go vegan is to get the % of vegans/vegetarians to a much higher number, then try and convince them.

    The same logic works in individual families or groups or friends. Within my (wife's) family out here in Chile, I am the first, a young niece is the second, I have an idea who might be the third, and so on. My niece (in law) would probably not be vegetarian today if it wasn't for me. And then I already have an idea of who to go for next. There are others I won't waste time on for now, but might try if I can get 1-2 others first....

    But that doesn't mean that as soon as someone tells your that they voted for Theresa May, you don't bother to try and convince them to be a vegan. People can surprise you. I think it would make sense for a vegan activist, if they had a certain amount of time to target a group of 50 conservatives and 50 liberals, I would probably split that time 20/80.

    Some of the conservatives that go vegan will in their own way, be innovators, within their circle and their lone veganism in the face of criticism will be more impressive than the veganism of a left wing environmentalist who is surrounded by fellow veggies left, right and centre. We need that as well, to avoid divisions, and because some conservatives will eventually turn vegan because someone at their church, within their family convinces them, not because they want to listen to what liberals are doing and be told by them.
     
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  8. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    Lower taxes is only one component of the fiscal side of conservatism, but conservatism is about more than money. Socially and culturally, it's about things like tradition, nationalism and religion. In India it's my understanding that many conservatives are vegetarians exactly because of these reasons. In the US, seventh day adventists find religious and health reasons to be vegans and vegetarians, and they have the social support of their fellow believers. Eastern orthodox Christianity has a concept of a fasting season (Great Lent) which is more or less vegan. So there are a few traditions to build on, but I also think veganism needs role-models who can espouse coherent conservative vegan ideals and world views / belief systems.
     
  9. Andy_T

    Andy_T Addicted Poster Forum Moderator

    Location:
    Hannover, Germany
    True, but when we talk about conservatives, we seldom are referring to Indian conservatives.
     
  10. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    Just trying to expand our outlook a bit. After all, there are conservatives in every country, not just the US and the UK. Also, Indian tradition could be important (or could made to be important) to people in the West since Europeans and Indians have common ancestors. And then there is also Christian Yoga (which is a growing trend now), and yoga's connection with vegetarianism.
     
  11. Andy_T

    Andy_T Addicted Poster Forum Moderator

    Location:
    Hannover, Germany
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