Living in a Minority Food Culture: A Phenomenological Investigation of Being Vegetarian/Vegan

Sachi Edwards


This phenomenological investigation aims to explore the lived experience of being vegan or vegetarian in a society and culture that is primarily non-vegetarian. As members of a unique minority group, vegans and vegetarians can sometimes be misunderstood by non-vegetarians and stereotyped as judgmental or difficult to deal with. Living with this type of misunderstanding from others can lead to feelings such as worry, loneliness, and fear. As such, the use of phenomenological inquiry is well suited to uncover the lived experience this phenomenon in such a way that no other method of inquiry could. The author brings forward themes that emerged from in depth conversations with two vegan/vegetarian participants, and draws from her own personal experiences as a vegetarian to supplement the data and further uncover the phenomenon. Themes are brought forward through the use of, among other works, Hyppolite’s (1956) and Bachelard’s (1994) descriptions of “inside vs. outside” and van Manen and Levering’s (1996) notion of secrecy.

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ISSN: 1913-4711