The strategies and beliefs of vegetarian groups
Movement or Moment?
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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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"[This book does] a good job of describing the history of a particular movement that has not received a lot of well-researched coverage."
"[Maurer] has turned what might have been a dry dissertation into very readable and fascinating work."
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.