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The strategies and beliefs of vegetarian groups

Vegetarianism

Movement or Moment?

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Donna Maurer

"Donna Maurer's Vegetarianism: Movement or Moment? is the best resource on vegetarianism I have ever read. This book is not only filled with information; it is as readable as a best-selling novel. I was drawn into the book from start to finish and I loved reading every page."
Howard F. Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy

Vegetarianism seems to be increasing in popularity and acceptance in the United States and Canada, yet, quite surprisingly, the percentage of the population practicing vegetarian diets has not changed dramatically over the past 30 years. People typically view vegetarianism as a personal habit or food choice, even though organizations in North America have been promoting vegetarianism as a movement since the 1850s. This book examines the organizational aspects of vegetarianism and tries to explain why the predominant movement strategies have not successfully attracted more people to adopt a vegetarian identity.

Vegetarianism: Movement or Moment? is the first book to consider the movement on a broad scale from a social science perspective. While this book takes into account the unique history of North American vegetarianism and the various reasons why people adopt vegetarian diets, it focuses on how movement leaders' beliefs regarding the dynamics of social change contributes to the selection of particular strategies for attracting people to vegetarianism. In the context of this focus, this book highlights several controversies about vegetarianism that have emerged in nutrition and popular media over the past 30 years.

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Excerpt

Read the Preface and an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).

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Reviews

"Donna Maurer offers a great service by taking us inside the modern vegetarian movement. She does a very fine job of explaining why people do and do not stop eating meat. [It] will serve as the basic guide to American vegetarianism for many years to come."
Warren Belasco, author of Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry

"All new vegetarian advocates should read Dr. Maurer's book. It will give them an understanding of the issues. It shows both where the movement has come from and the outreach methods it has attempted. If someone were to read Vegetarianism early in their advocacy, it would quickly advance their thought on the subject, saving them years of discovering things on their own."
Jack Norris, R.D., President, Vegan Outreach

"As both a careful sociologist and a committed vegan, Donna Maurer brings fresh insight into the multi-dimensional character of vegetarianism in the United States: its values, assumptions, and practices."
Amy Bently, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University

"[This book does] a good job of describing the history of a particular movement that has not received a lot of well-researched coverage."
Kliatt

"[Maurer] has turned what might have been a dry dissertation into very readable and fascinating work."
vegparadise.com

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Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. What Is Vegetarianism? And Who Are the Vegetarians?
2. Vegetarian Diets and the Health Professions: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Issues
3. Charting the Contemporary Vegetarian Movement in the Social Movement Field
4. Vegetarianism: Expressions of Ideology in Vegetarian Organizations
5. The Beliefs and Strategies of Vegetarian Movement Leaders
6. Organizational Strategy in Action: Promoting a Vegetarian Collective Identity
7. The Food Industry's Role in Promoting and Gaining Acceptance for Vegetarian Diets

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About the Author(s)

Donna Maurer is a long-time vegetarian and freelance academic editor who also teaches online for the University of Maryland University College, where she is Adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology. She has co-edited three books on food and body weight issues (with Jeffery Sobal), including Eating Agendas: Food and Nutrition as Social Problems. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for the Study of Food and Society.

Subject Categories

Sociology
Animals and Society
Health and Health Policy

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