Identify Reformation Through Vegan Communities
Through content analysis of three relevant research essays, this study examines how vegan communities contribute to the reformation of the cultural identity of vegan-identifying persons. Jessica Greenebaum’s (2012) research on identity and authenticity studies the different ways in which people classify themselves, and how they negotiate and reform their cultural identities. Elizabeth Cherry’s (2006) research on veganism as a cultural movement emphasizes the importance that a strong social network has on maintaining a vegan lifestyle. Finally, Mary Jane Collier’s (2015) article on identity and communication identifies norms, symbols, and meanings unique to the vegan culture and community. I hypothesize that ethical concerns are the main force behind adopting a vegan lifestyle. I want to further understand the role that community plays in forming a vegan identity, and, overall, to affirm that community is essential to maintaining, and thriving in, a vegan lifestyle. Vegan individuals, who are able to connect with other vegans, adhere more strictly to a plant-based diet. In comparison, vegans who do not partake in any social organizations or vegan networks are more likely to adapt the definition of veganism to fit their lifestyle. Community and networks play a considerable role in accountability, and they allow people not only to define themselves as vegan, but also permit others to identify as vegan, too.