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Vegaphobia is an aversion to vegetarian and vegan people.[excessive citations] It is in the 21st century that it began to frame the phenomenon in the sociological sphere and makes its appearance "vegaphobia". In 2007, a survey called "Vegaphobia: disproportionate talk about veganism in British national newspapers" took place in the United Kingdom, which examined 397 articles containing the terms "vegan", "vegans" and "veganism". The researchers found that 74.3% of the items are classified as "negatives"; 20.2% "neutral" and only 5.5% "positive". Negative items were in order of frequency: ridiculing veganism; characterize veganism as asceticism; affirming that veganism is difficult or impossible to sustain; describe veganism as a fashion; portray vegans as sentimentalists; defining vegans as hostile.
Laura Wright claims that media organisations and wider discourse routinely mischaracterise vegan diets and highlights situations where media outlets report the death of children from a 'vegan diet' rather than the neglect that was the actual cause. However, Christophe Traïni writes that some vegan activists may present themselves "as members of an oppressed minority rebelling against 'vegephobia'".
However, the application of the term "vegaphobia"—and the extent to which it can be compared to other forms of discrimination—remains a divisive issue, with Sophie Wilkinson of Grazia opining that "...discrimination is about being treated differently for who you are, not for what you choose to do." and that discrimination against vegans (unlike sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.) doesn't tend to go beyond the level of microaggressions.
At the 2013 International Animal Rights Conference, actress and producer Jola Cora, discussed the topic in a presentation called "Vegaphobia, what is it?"
In 2018, a survey of British and American vegans from the weight-loss application Lifesum found eight out of ten respondents to have experienced some form of anti-vegan prejudice.
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- VeganKanal (12 September 2013). "Vegephobia, what is it? Jola Cora at IARC 2013 Luxembourg" – via YouTube.