Social crisis and crisis in food tastes: vegetarianism as an issue. A case study in Paris

Current studies of food consumption fail to deal with vegetarians. They are not represented. Vegetarians cannot be found in statistics and only not appear in nutritional nomenclatures where their diet is mainly subjected to normative evaluations. Such a blank in representation and nomenclatures makes room for vegetarian advocates to impose their sole definitions of the diet. Vegetarianism appears as a philosophy of life embedded in core features, such as the rejection of cruelty towards animals, an intense awareness of health, and love of nature. Consequently, the adoption of the vegetarian diet proceeds from an exclusively moral choice which, though a typical privilege of the elite, ought to be open to everyone because of the particular edifying virtues the diet entails. In this paper, it is my concern to show that vegetarianism cannot be reduced to a moral choice: it is an important social fact that maintains close relations with the conditions of living, social aspirations and ways of socialization of tastes.

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Journal Article
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ISSN 1778-4379 (Other)
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INRA Sciences Sociales, 2005
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