Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Humanities

Advisor 1

L. Syd M. Johnson

Committee Member 1

Marika Seigel

Committee Member 2

Diane Shoos

Committee Member 3

Mylan Engel


Restaurants, grocery stores, fast food chains, and companies all over the United States introduce the consumer to more vegan products, dishes, and services than ever before. The rise of veganism therefore offers a rhetorical platform that should be studied. This dissertation discusses the rhetoric of veganism by analyzing food narratives of vegans through a critical intersectional lens and consists of three research stages. The first research stage investigates the narratology of Glenn Scott Lacey’s documentary, Vegan: Everyday Stories(2016). In particular, this rhetorical analysis focuses on the evaluative belief system of vegan storytelling by applying narrative and ideological criticism. The second research stage considers quantitative data collected from an online survey that combined questions on food and attitudes about social justice engagement. The results of a path analysis illustrate the multi-layered nature of veganism and what motivates vegans to challenge their food habits. The third and last research stage shares qualitative data derived from Skype interviews conducted with vegans who took the previously mentioned survey. These interviews offer qualitative data that illustrate how the shared value of knowledge/education plays a vital role in becoming vegan, and how an intersectional lens can, when employed critically, enrich veganism as a social justice movement through a storied activism. Finally, the project comments on how the studying of food narratives can refine the vegan movement since storied activism can lead to a better understanding of overlapping oppressions.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons