Vegetarianism and Fruitarianism as Deviance

Authored by: Joe Boyle

The Routledge Handbook of Deviant Behavior

Print publication date:  June  2011
Online publication date:  April  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415482745
eBook ISBN: 9780203880548
Adobe ISBN: 9781134015580


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With a vegetarian option in nearly every restaurant in North America, it is arguable whether vegetarianism can even be considered deviant. Many people who are not familiar with vegetarianism see a difficult, yet conscientious, dietary preference. However, people who choose to be vegetarian usually view it as a lifestyle that includes much reasoning (Maurer 2002). The contention that vegetarianism is deviant rests in the potential extreme forms of vegetarianism as well as the ideology behind the movement. Historically, vegetarianism rejects the dominant cultural prescription for food production and consumption in Western industrialized nations. These foundations of meat eating in the West can be directly traced back to the Bible and the first chapter of the book of Genesis (Stuart 2006). The early Church stood by the doctrine concerning man’s dominion over animals, and human beings were insulting God by not eating what He provided for them (Spencer 1995).

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