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Given the impact of America’s food choices, particularly animal-based foods, on life-sustaining systems, to what extent is the environmental movement making meat-based diets an issue? This research analyzes websites of 15 U.S. environmental advocacy organizations (EOs) to examine how they negotiate the question of animal versus plant-based diets and propose solutions for food producers and consumers. EOs proposed that industrial agriculture and commercial fishing/aquaculture severely limit destructive practices to more sustainably meet consumer demand for animal products. EOs offered consumers choices, including: 1) replacement of much industrial food with local, organic, and/or sustainable animal or plant foods, 2) reduction of animal products, and, to a lesser degree, 3) vegetarianism. To consistently promote justice for all animals, the author recommends environmental discourse more explicitly critique animal agriculture/fishing as a primary source of environmental problems, consider food needs not just preferences, and promote fundamental changes toward a plant-based, largely organic diet.


This is a postprint version of an article published as:

Freeman, C. P. (2010). Meat's place on the campaign menu: How U.S. environmental discourse negotiates vegetarianism. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, 4(3), 255-276. doi: 10.1080/17524032.2010.501998

Copyright © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

EO solutions chart.jpg (69 kB)
EO Solutions Chart