Thinking Veganism in Literature and Culture: Towards a Vegan Theory

Vegan (n.): “A person who abstains from all food of animal origin and avoids the use of animal products in other forms” or (adj.) “Of or relating to vegans or veganism; based on the principles of vegans.”

Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed., s.v. “vegan, n.2 and adj.2.”

Beginning with a definition risks sounding like the most clichéd and unadventurous of wedding speeches: how does the Oxford English Dictionary define the love we are here to celebrate? Or, in this case, the veganism we are here to consecrate academically? Consecration might seem to stretch the accepted topos of vegan discourse, but, as Allison Covey’s essay in this collection shows, faith, belief, and ethical conviction converge compellingly, if messily, in the idea of veganism as a creed. This is just one way of framing it. Over the course of the essays in this collection, a multiplicity of ways of defining veganism emerge; and this implicit acknowledgment of the difficulty of pinning down just what veganism, or a vegan, is, opens up productive new avenues of inquiry.

Thinking Veganism in Literature and Culture (p.1)

The book edited by Emelia Quinn and Benjamin Westwood.

Content of the book

  • Vegans in the Interregnum: The Cultural Moment of an Enmeshed Theory – Laura Wright
  • Remnants: The Witness and the Animal – Sara Salih
  • The Vegan Viewer in the Circum-Polar World; Or, J. H. Wheldon’s The Diana and Chase in the Arctic (1857) – Jason Edwards
  • Trojan Horses – Tom Tyler
  • Vegan Cinema – Anat Pick
  • Monstrous Vegan Narratives: Margaret Atwood’s Hideous Progeny – Emelia Quinn
  • On Refusal – Benjamin Westwood
  • The Unpacking Plant: Gleaning the Lexicons of Lean Culture – Natalie Joelle
  • Ethical Veganism as Protected Identity: Constructing a Creed Under Human Rights Law – Allison Covey
  • A Vegan Form of Life – Robert McKay

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