A vegan in the room

| Post published on March 22, 2022
minute reading time
Coffee with friends

Dynamic communication is key

This pilot study among students examined the ‘moral threat’ to meat-eaters induced by vegans, the subsequent defensive derogation and how these effects can be diminished. In other words, vegans are sometimes belittled or ridiculed by meat-eaters because they threaten meat-eaters’ moral self-image.

The authors of this sudy suggest talking about veganism as a ‘work in progress’ avoiding it being seen as ‘right or wrong’ or ‘black and white.’ It’s a continuum and we can all work together on our journey along it.

This flexible style of dynamic communication, they say, can encourage open-mindedness and make vegans more likeable – an essential step in persuading people to change their behaviour!


Weiper MLV and Vonk R. 2021. A communicational approach to enhance open-mindedness towards meat-refusers. Appetite. 1, 167, 105602.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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