Vegans’ problem stories: Negotiating vegan identity in dealing with omnivores

Richard Buttny, Etsuko Kinefuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Given the fact that being vegan is generally considered odd or deviant from the mainstream norms of carnism, we examine how vegans manage such social positioning in their dealings with omnivores. This article employs a discursive analysis of vegans’ narratives of problematic moments with omnivores and how they manage such situations and their identity. The vegans’ narratives ranged from problem stories where some troublesome event occurred, but was not resolved, to solution stories of the best ways of dealing with meat eaters. In each case, being vegan is a social positioning that is problematized in various ways and a positioning that needs to be accounted for. The narrators give voice to themselves or others through the discursive practices of metadiscourse and reported speech in constructing the problem story. Vegans face the ideological dilemma in how to speak about their veganism as choice of diet, for environmental reasons or ethical considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-583
Number of pages19
JournalDiscourse and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Discursive practices
  • ideological dilemma
  • omnivores
  • problem stories
  • vegan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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