Comparing the Role of Communication in Vegetarianism and Veganism
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There is very little research that analyzes experiences of vegetarians and vegans from a communication perspective exploring the messages used to describe their food lifestyle choices to others. Thus, for this thesis I will use Grounded Theory to explore the use of verbal and nonverbal messages regarding food lifestyle choices as a way to understand how communication shapes the identities of vegetarians and vegans. The current, and limited research often groups vegetarians and vegans together, but these are two distinct groups of individuals that make sense of their lifestyle choices through very different messages and perspectives. In order to enhance the understanding of each respective group, there needs to be an increase in research that examines, then compares, the communication characteristics of the two distinct groups. Separating vegetarians and vegans into two different demographics, exploring accounts from individuals in each group, and using Grounded Theory to analyze their experiences will enhance the research that discusses the communication process borne when adopting vegetarianism and veganism. More specifically, this thesis will compare vegetarians to vegans, using the role of communication in the participants’ messages of conversion, maintenance, discussion, and defense.