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Militant, annoying and sexy: A corpus-based study of representations of vegans in the British press

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/02/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Critical Discourse Studies
Issue number2
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)218-236
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date29/03/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article examines discourse representations of vegans in UK newspapers, comparing broadsheets with tabloids published between 2016 and 2020. Taking a corpus-based approach to CDA, we identify a series of discourses, some of which overlap between the broadsheets and tabloids while others are particular to one format or the other. Vegans tend to be evaluated negatively in this context, portrayed as violent, hypocritical, pushy and irresponsible when it comes to their (and their children’s) health. Such representations are characteristic of the tabloids in particular, whereas broadsheets provide more balanced coverage, with a greater propensity to present counter-discourses and to provide page space to airing the first-hand perspectives of vegans themselves. In the paper, we make recommendations as to how coverage can achieve better balance, to the benefit of the vegan movement and – by extension – the wellbeing of humans, other animals, and the environment.