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Vegan health information most likely to persuade non-vegans to change

New research from the Pathways to Veganism study, which spoke to omnivores and vegetarians with the aim to find out how non-vegans see veganism has found that health messages relating to the vegan movement showed the most positive response.

Participants in the study said that they would, or already have, passed on health messages about veganism to loved ones. The study focused on family relationships and how this helps non-vegans understand veganism.

The study did however suggest that the morality of veganism is more likely to see a commitment to the lifestyle when compared to other factors.

Dr Lorna Brocksopp, research officer at The Vegan Society, commented: “This has been an excellent opportunity for The Vegan Society to be proactively involved in a piece of academic research which will have a direct impact on professional practice.

“The findings will be instrumental in shaping our future campaigns and research directions, and it has been a pleasure to collaborate with the Centre for Human-Animal Studies.”

Professor Claire Parkinson, one of the authors on the study, said: “The research revealed that non-vegans were more receptive to health messages about veganism than to environmental or ethics messages. It also showed how important family dynamics are in establishing and maintaining food practices.”

“It was interesting to find out that celebrity endorsement of veganism was viewed with such a high degree of scepticism by study participants, but our findings also suggested that vegan sportspeople and celebrities are important in challenging stereotypes around vegans’ health and strength,” Parkinson added.

Dr Twine, another author on the study said: “Some of the most interesting findings of our study are in the way food practices come to constitute everyday routines which can be resistant to change. Family relations were seen to be both barriers and pathways to veganism.

“It was also interesting to see that vegetarian practice was becoming ‘pulled toward veganism’. Barely any of our vegetarian interviewees only excluded meat from their diet but had also begun to exclude other animal products.”

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