"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Is “vegan” a unclean word? Study shows it puts some people off

December 13, 2023 – Going vegan isn't just good for the planet – the weight loss plan has been found to provide help to reduce weight and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, some kinds of heart disease and cancer High blood pressure. Avoiding all animal products can even improve your gut Microbiota and help individuals with diabetes control their blood sugar levels. And the most recent research suggests you'll begin to see advantages after just 8 weeks. So why do only about 1% of Americans say they follow a vegan weight loss plan? diet?

It may simply be the word “vegan”.

In a brand new study, researchers on the University of Southern California wanted to seek out out what impact vegan labeling has on consumers. They offered greater than 7,000 people a alternative between two gourmet gift baskets. One included meat and dairy products, the opposite contained only plant-based foods. The animal product-free basket was only chosen 20% of the time when it was labeled “vegan” – but when it had labels like “healthy” and “sustainable,” greater than twice as many individuals within the study selected it.

Why Veganism Gets a Bad Reputation

“There is a perception that vegans are prejudiced and joyless and that vegan diets are boring,” said Wändi Bruine de Bruin, PhD, certainly one of the researchers. She is a vegan herself and sees it in her own life. “When I eat with someone and say I'm vegan, some people feel defensive. They feel like I'm questioning their food choices. They apologize for eating meat in front of me or make jokes about it.”

While people speak about “Meatless Monday” and consider vegetarianism as only a dietary alternative, veganism is linked to morals and ethics.

“An ethical stance toward animal consumption contradicts normative ways of thinking and acting,” said Daniel Rosenfeld, a sixth-year doctoral student in social psychology at UCLA. He has researched the connection between masculinity and flesh.Eatand why meat eaters expect vegan food to taste good bad. “It seems moralistic, and anything that seems moral can make people feel threatened in their own sense of morality.”

In some ways, Rosenfeld said, veganism can threaten an individual's identity. The concept of carnism – a belief system that tells us it's okay to eat certain animals – is something most of us don't take into consideration. But that is how an omnivore knows that it is suitable to eat cows, but not dogs.

“When people are exposed to veganism by selling products or meeting vegans, that is a signal that carnism – the consumption of animals – may no longer be as prevalent,” he said. Therein lies the threat. “People like to stick to tried and tested social norms, especially if you belong to the dominant group.”

This has led to veganism taking up political implications.

“Not political as in right versus left,” said Ann Kronrod, PhD, a marketing researcher specializing in linguistics. Some people might imagine that vegans want everyone to avoid animal products, or that veganism requires a certain level of activism, she explained. “There is a feeling that this represents a restriction on freedom of choice.”

The Politics of Veganism

These political implications are linked to people's motivation to adopt a vegan weight loss plan. This goes far beyond just preferring vegetables. Ethical veganism focuses on animal welfare – people avoid all animal products to stop the exploitation of other living beings. Even in surveys 90% of vegans say they do it for the animals.

For some, it's also about stopping climate change. According to the United Nations, approx a third of all human-caused greenhouse gases come from agriculture, nearly all of which comes from livestock farming. Studies have found that a vegan weight loss plan reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 70% or more in comparison with a vegan weight loss plan Meat. The have to eat less animal products for the nice of the planet is attracting global attention: Last week at COP28, the United Nations' annual climate meeting, greater than 130 countries signed a declaration pledging to incorporate food of their climate plans integrate 2025.

It's clear that way over 1% of persons are excited by these topics. But they don't necessarily need to commit to being vegan. In addition to the negative undertones of the word itself, always saying no to animal products of every kind can feel limiting. Additionally, some research has found that a vegan weight loss plan that will not be well thought out can result in nutrient deficiencies defects.

“While people want plant-based, healthy and sustainable choices, they don’t want to accept the baggage that they believe comes with the label,” said Alicia Kennedy, writer of No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Diets.

This emerges from the USC study. Removing the word “vegan” from gift baskets had the best effect on committed beef eaters, in comparison with individuals who described themselves as healthy eaters.

“Because veganism has such a deep connotation that it is not just about eating a certain way, but living and believing a certain way, for someone who believes it cannot be consistent with that “Ideology can be difficult to eat at all. Eat a salad without meat and cheese,” Kennedy said.

Selling the vegan diet

Getting people to eat more foods without animal products could improve the health of people and the planet, and it could be as simple as leaving out the word “vegan” or similar terms like “meat-free.”

“Meat-free means it’s a terrible thing, meat,” Kronrod said. “Maybe I don’t want to take a stand, even if I prefer plant-based products.”

The nonprofit World Resources Institute has put together a guide for the food industry to assist corporations get consumers to eat more plants. One section suggests removing certain words from menus, explaining that “terms that emphasize the absence of meat in a dish – vegetarian, veganor meat-free – are particularly unattractive to most people.”

A case study in the guide showed how in 2017 British supermarket chain Sainsbury's tried to boost declining sales of a meal it described as “meat-free sausages and mash”. The company changed the name to “Cumberland-spiced vegetable sausages and mash” and sales increased 76% in 2020 Months.

Similar changes are underway in American grocery retail. There were lots of new vegan products at this summer's Fancy Food Show, but many didn't use that word on the label, they say Axios. “The term 'vegan' is really a faux pas these days unless it is associated with the lifestyle,” said one retailer.

Even global mega-corporations are jumping on the “not vegan” bandwagon. Earlier this year, Swiss food giant Nestlé introduced vegan versions of its iconic Toll House chocolate bites. The word “vegan” is not on the packaging. Instead they are called “vegetable.”­­­­

“When you concentrate on names, what you call yourself, the way it defines who you’re, I believe the definition of vegan because it is today — is greater than only a food alternative,” Kronrod said. “It’s a choice, who do I support? Or who shouldn’t I be?”