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A vegetarian educator in a meat obsessed country

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Cassandra Sturgeon Delia
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>13/07/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>British Food Journal
Issue number8
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)2770-2784
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date10/02/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Food consumption is a result of a choice that is influenced by economic status, society, culture, psychosomatic elements (Bisogni et al., 2002) and religious factors (Dewan, 2017) creating an identity based on one's beliefs (Mennell et al., 1992). Although many versions exist, this diet is often established on an ideology to abstain from using animals for dietary needs (Smart, 2004). There has been much research to explore vegetarian motivation and impacts of this diet on health; however, first-hand accounts are few.

Autoethnography was undertaken to understand my experience as a vegetarian living within a primarily meat consuming country. The theoretical framework driving the research uses social cognitive theory (SCT), the transtheoretical model (TTM) and ethical theory to address the vegetarian experience and emotions generated through such encounters.

Data collected, including conversations, headnotes and teaching material, were transcribed and categorised into four emerging themes including vegetarian experience, culture, identity as an educator; and impacts of beliefs. The author also discusses the motives for converting to vegetarianism and the experiences that came with behavioural change. Obstacles and opportunities presented by living in a dominant meat society are explored and the author’s influence on others as an educator, as a citizen in society and as a member of a family.

Research limitations/implications
Being new to autoethnography proved to be a limitation in the study.

Practical implications
This research may prove useful for researchers to gain an insider's view of a vegetarian's experience, and how the lifestyles impact students and others in a social context from the author's perspective.

Social implications
Autoethnography regarding vegetarianism from an educator's perspective is lacking and hence may give an insight to help fill the literature gap and change perspectives towards the vegetarian community.

Autoethnography regarding vegetarianism from an educators perspective is lacking; hence, this would be a valuable insight to add to the literature gap.