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Vegetarian epiphanies - awareness and transition

Épiphanies végétariennes

Prise de conscience et transition alimentaire

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Published on Friday, October 04, 2019 by Anastasia Giardinelli

Summary

In anticipation of this event, we encourage the interdisciplinary confrontation of points of view in the humanities (anthropology, cultural studies, economics, animal studies and critical animal studies, history, geography, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.). Papers will discuss the social, cultural, ideological, political, behavioural as well as ethical aspects of vegetarian epiphanies.

Announcement

Joint International and Interdisciplinary Conference

April 16-17, 2020, Université de Rennes 1, Université Rennes 2, France

May 28-29, 2020, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA

Presentation

Université de Rennes 1, Université Rennes 2, and the University of California at Santa Barbara are pleased to announce a double academic conference on vegetarian epiphanies, these moments of powerful insight that bring new understanding and trigger transitions to plant-based diets. 

The Research Team Anglophonie: Communautés et Écritures at Université Rennes 2, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Research Team Centre de Recherche en Économie et Management, Université de Rennes 1, and the University of California at Santa Barbara will host a conference entitled ‘Vegetarian Epiphanies: From Insight to Habit’ in March-April (Rennes) and May 2020 (Santa Barbara).

Understood in a secular sense, epiphany refers to a moment of powerful insight that brings new understanding. It is a flash of revelation with lasting consequences. The term is apt when it comes to describe some experiences of vegetarian awakening. ‘Epiphanies’ of this kind seem to have multiplied in Western countries in recent years, as witness French Veggie Pride, Paul McCartney's British Meat Free Monday, American documentaries Earthlings and Cowspiracy, and in the ever-expanding range of plant-based meat alternatives found in Western supermarkets.

Argument

Our joint conference aims to investigate this phenomenon in an academic setting. Why is it more common now to eschew animal flesh (vegetarianism), to keep any animal product from one’s diet (dietary veganism), or to prohibit the use of any animal product for food, clothing or any other purpose (ethical veganism)?

Flexible plant-based diets are also gaining ground. There are now more flexitarians, who eat mainly vegetarian food but have meat or fish occasionally, as well as reductarians, who cut down on meat and fish consumption. The number of consumers who partly or fully embrace a plant-based diet has risen sharply in recent years. But this sometimes controversial social and media phenomenon raises many questions. How do epiphanies happen? Is the moral conversion sudden or gradual, life-changing or reversible? Why and how do people transition to plant-based diets? Is the initial epiphany the catalyst for enduring eating habits? What is the precipitating cause: is it ethical, environmental, or is it related to health, or taste?

In anticipation of this French and American conference, we encourage various disciplines especially in the humanities and social sciences to share and contrast their perspectives (anthropology, cultural studies, economics, animal and critical animal studies, history, geography, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.). We particularly encourage proposals that address the following (non-exhaustive) topics, especially in the context of French- and English-speaking countries:

The social perspective

  • The sociology of vegetarianism / veganism.
  • Different forms of transitions: radical and irreversible, progressive, backsliding. What are the most common transitions: from carnism to flexitarianism / reductarianism /vegetarianism / veganism? From vegetarianism to veganism? Are there more direct transitions today: from carnism directly to veganism? How and why do some vegetarians go back to eating meat and fish?
  • Individual versus collective epiphanies: social psychology, social factors: what, if any, are the challenges, the catalysts?
  • The social perception of going veggie. Is the transition associated with misplaced ‘sentimentality’, role-playing, sanctimony, self-righteousness, etc.

The cultural perspective

  • Specificities of the French-speaking world, the English-speaking world, and other cultural contexts.
  • Epiphanies in art, literature, and film.
  • Famous epiphanies (historical figures, philosophers, authors, celebrities).

The psychological perspective

  • Favorable and unfavorable psychological dispositions: motivation, the decision-making process, cognitive dissonance, etc.
  • How does the change of consciousness happen? Is it a conversation, a moral shock or rather a progressive evolution by dint of readings, images, videos, personal reflection, the social, natural or cultural environment, etc.?

The behavioral perspective

  • The economics of transitioning to plant-based diets.
  • The meat paradox.
  • New perceptions of the consumption of animal flesh foods, cannibalism, etc.
  • Social networks and epiphanies.

The ideological and political perspectives

  • The political, social, ethical, media disturbance around vegetarian epiphanies.
  • The various reasons for adopting a plant-based lifestyle: ethical, ecological, religious, health or taste-related causes.
  • Links with other eating habits: fair trade, the locavore movement, etc.

Animal welfare-related epiphanies

  • The role of animal protection or liberation groups, of vegetarian and vegan organizations (L214, PETA, Compassion in World Farming, the Vegetarian Society, l’Association Végétarienne de France, etc.).
  • The role of moral philosophy in vegetarian conversions.

Submission Guidelines

Speakers will give their presentation in French or English.

Submission guidelines, key dates and detailed information on the conference are available on the dedicated websites:

Rennes, http://epiphaniesvege.sciencesconf.org

Santa Barbara, https://vegepiphanies.sciencesconf.org

Proposals for papers should be approximately 250 words in length and be uploaded

before November, 1, 2019

Notification to authors before December, 1, 2019.

The conference does not cover the travel expenses of participants.

Papers may be selected for subsequent publication.

Selection Committee

  • Florence Burgat, INRA, Archives Husserl de Paris, ENS-CNRS
  • Emilie Dardenne, Université Rennes 2
  • Romain Espinosa, CNRS, Université Rennes 1
  • Angelo Giavatto, Université de Nantes
  • Valéry Giroux, Université de Montréal
  • Cécile Huchard, Université de Lorraine
  • Julie Ing, Université Rennes 1
  • Renan Larue, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Sophie Mesplède, Université Rennes 2
  • Anthony Milligan, King’s College, London
  • Jan Stoop, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
  • Isacco Turina, Università di Bologna

Organizing Committee

  • Emilie Dardenne, Université Rennes 2
  • Romain Espinosa, CNRS, Université Rennes 1
  • Renan Larue, University of California at Santa Barbara

Conference co-chairs

  • Emilie Dardenne, Université Rennes 2
  • Romain Espinosa, CNRS, Université Rennes 1
  • Renan Larue, University of California at Santa Barbara

Rennes, France: April 16-17, 2020

Guest Speakers:

  • Florence Burgat, INRA, Archives Husserl de Paris (ENS-CNRS), philosophy
  • Laurent Bègue, IUF, Université de Grenoble, psychology
  • Melanie Joy, Beyond Carnism, psychology
  • Nicolas Treich, INRA, Toulouse School of Economics, economics

Santa Barbara, USA: May 28-29, 2020

Guest Speakers:

  • Yanoula Athanassakis, PhD, New York University, literature, environmental studies, animal studies.
  • Adam Schprintzen, PhD, Marywood University, history.
  • Jo-Anne McArthur, We Animals, photography.

Subjects

Places

  • Université Rennes 1
    Rennes, France (35)
  • University of California at Santa Barbara
    Santa Barbara, America

Date(s)

  • Friday, November 01, 2019

Keywords

  • végétarisme, éthique, études animales, environnement, santé, épiphanies, véganisme, végétalisme

Contact(s)

  • Emilie Dardenne
    courriel : emilie [dot] dardenne [at] univ-rennes2 [dot] fr

Information source

  • Emilie Dardenne
    courriel : emilie [dot] dardenne [at] univ-rennes2 [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Vegetarian epiphanies - awareness and transition », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Friday, October 04, 2019, https://calenda.org/681754

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