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Stepping Up to the Veggie Plate: Framing Veganism as Living Your Values
Perspectives on Human-Animal Communication: Internatural Communication (2012)
  • Carrie Packwood Freeman, Georgia State University
America’s animal rights organizations have increasingly focused on vegetarian campaigns to protect the growing number of animals who are farmed and fished. But on what basis do these animal rights organizations promote plant-based diets in ways that will resonate with a meat-eating American public? To determine how animal rights organizations align their values with those of the public, this textual analysis examines how values are framed in the print and electronic food advocacy campaign messages of five national animal organizations in 2008. Findings reveal that campaigns associate veganism with altruism, health, environmental responsibility, and humanitarianism. Campaigns appeal to Americans based on: 1) altruistic values such as compassion, respect for sentient beings, life, freedom, environmentalism, and the desire to make a difference and help humanity; 2) ideals such as honesty, naturalness, patriotism, and populist notions of fairness; and 3) common-sense personal values such as health, choice, belonging and social appeal, desire for pleasurable and convenient food, and pride in one’s moral integrity. To better serve the motivational and identity-building function of the social movement framing process, strategic recommendations are made for how animal rights organizations could improve the resonance and logical consistency of campaign frames by emphasizing justice, freedom, and life, and re-framing naturalness and honesty. Emphasis on moral integrity is one of the most crucial appeals in expanding veganism, as attitude and behavior changes likely hinge on creating cognitive dissonance over the fit between one’s value system and the consumption of animal products.
  • vegetarian,
  • meat,
  • values,
  • framing,
  • appeals,
  • animal rights,
  • advocacy communication
Publication Date
Emily Plec
Citation Information
Carrie Packwood Freeman. "Stepping Up to the Veggie Plate: Framing Veganism as Living Your Values" New YorkPerspectives on Human-Animal Communication: Internatural Communication (2012)
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