Vegan Lifestyles as a Previously Deviant Concept

It is common for parents and children to have certain misunderstandings and see that their interests and views on the world differ from each other. What was widely accepted and famous among teenagers of the 1960s-1980s is considered not cool among the modern youth. At the same time, the current generation is interested in such ideas and concepts that would have never attracted teenagers from the previous generations. Deviant behavior may become normal and vice versa and a number of social scientists explore this. The purpose of this paper is to provide an example of something that the previous generation considered to be deviant in their lifetime but is no longer considered abnormal in mainstream contemporary American society.

To begin with, it is essential to notice that it is absolutely normal for certain concepts or processes to be unaccepted first. Societies develop, and people’s views change, which is a part of the world’s existence. Therefore, many ideas and behaviors that seemed deviant and inappropriate decades ago are now adopted by an extended number of people. One such example is vegan lifestyles, and it is hard to disagree that about forty years ago, it was rather strange for people to learn that someone is a vegan. It was a newly introduced concept, and few persons could understand the idea behind this odd desire not to eat specific food (Hancox, 2018). For example, social strain typology explained this deviant behavior as a desire to stand out or show rebellion (“Theories of crime and deviance,” n.d.). However, modern generations do not judge others for not eating meat and do not try to change their opinions of each other.

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In other cultures, there was and still is a different view on veganism. For example, in Estonia, “the vegan body is socially constructed as a deviant entity by medical professionals” (Aavik, 2021, p. 159). At the same time, in some other cultures, it is required by religions and values to avoid eating meat and other animal products during some months of the year. Thus, it is possible to say that vegan lifestyles are still deviant in some countries and accepted in others.


Aavik, K. (2021). Institutional resistance to veganism: Constructing vegan bodies as deviant in medical encounters in Estonia. Health, 25(2), 159–176. Web.

Hancox, D. (2018). The unstoppable rise of veganism: how a fringe movement went mainstream. The Guardian. Web.

Theories of crime and deviance. (n.d.). Lumen Learning. Web.

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