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Fellow Leads New Academic Study on Veganism

13th June 2014

Centre Fellow Dr Kay Peggs is leading an academic project on ‘Veganism: Ethics and Lifestyle’ based at the School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies in the University of Portsmouth.

This project seeks to investigate perspectives on veganism in terms of synergies and tensions between the moral values associated with the welfare of animals, the principles associated with sustainability, and the values associated with healthy living.   Historically, veganism has an ethical dimension that extends beyond diet to preclude the human use of any animal-based products (e.g. in clothes and accessories) and products and methods that involve the abuse of animals (e.g. chemical products that are tested on animals).   Individuals who care about animals often feel they are confirming the substance of their concern by conducting their lives around their view about a moral position that humans should refrain from inflicting harm on nonhumans. This ethical veganism is a form of consumer boycott that is regarded as a display of moral integrity.  In lifestyle veganism the ethical dimension is replaced with an effort to achieve dietary insurance against risks to health.  Thus, lifestyle veganism is said to replace the being of the ethical conduct of life with the doing of the consumer who is more concerned with her or his health.

The project team aims to:

  • explore the complexities of ethical veganism and lifestyle veganism,
  • examine marketing strategies for vegan products,
  • investigate national trends in veganism, and
  • compare and contrast the perspectives of ethical and lifestyle vegans.

The project team includes Dr Kay Peggs (Project leader), Professor Barry Smart and Dr Joseph Burridge.  International links include the Food Ethics Project, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy and Education, in the University of Vienna.

People interested in the project should contact Dr Peggs at