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Thread: I'm interviewing vegans/conscious consumers - research subjects needed!

  1. #1

    Default I'm interviewing vegans/conscious consumers - research subjects needed!

    Hi everyone!

    I hope this finds you all happy and well :) It’s been a loooong time since I’ve been on the board…

    Some of you might know me from www.NonviolenceUnited.org, www.VeganShirt.com, or from our video put out last year www.VeganVideo.org.

    Well, I’m in grad school and moving into my research phase. My research in a nutshell is focusing on “consumer dissonance” (based on the concept of cognitive dissonance), or why and how it is that “ethical consumers” sometimes ignore their own ethics.

    I’m looking to define the “career” path of Vegans (how they came to be Vegan, motivations, etc.), but more specifically I’m looking to find out why some people who know the consequences of their consumer choices still are able to suppress their own values and make choices that go against those values – like environmentalists (who know the environmental impacts of eating animals) who continue to eat meat/animal products; how Animal Rights activists and/or those who care about animals and know the truth about the meat/egg/dairy industry continue to be Vegetarian but not Vegan or maybe not even Veg (my focus is on food consumption).

    I know these questions feel confrontational for people, so I’m framing it more as an “exploration of ethical consumers” and my interview questions will hone in on what I’m looking for (rather than asking people point blank why they are making choices against their own ethics – big ol’ walls go up). I’m laying it out there for the Vegans on this board because I’m guessing that, like me, you may know people who would be perfect to be interviewed for this research.

    So, I’m looking for folks (including Vegans, Veg, former-Veg, meat-eaters, etc.) who would like to be interviewed and/or who might know people (family members, friends, co-workers, etc.) who are aware of many of the issues and continue to eat in certain ways.

    FYI, the interviews can be of anyone (over 18 years of age) all over the country/world – most interviews will be done by phone or via Skype (online phone software). Those folks I find locally (Boulder/Denver, CO), I’d love to meet face-to-face, but it’s not a requirement.

    You may read more about the research project on my research website at www.mattbear.com

    If anyone has questions, feel free to contact me either on VeganForum or through my research website.

    Thanks so much. And thank you for all that you do!

    All one,
    :) matt

  2. #2
    fortified twinkle's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm interviewing Vegans/Conscious Consumers -- research subjects needed!

    Sounds like an interesting survey. What are you planning on doing with the results of your research?
    "If you don't have a song to sing you're okay, you know how to get along humming" Waltz (better than fine) - Fiona Apple

  3. #3

    Default Re: I'm interviewing Vegans/Conscious Consumers -- research subjects needed!

    Q: "Sounds like an interesting survey. What are you planning on doing with the results of your research?"

    A: I'm working toward my PhD in Sociology, so the results will likely be compiled into several different academic papers and published (hopefully) in Sociology (and possibly Social Psychology) journals and published in my final dissertation. Hopefully the results will be interesting enough to also be picked up by other media (rather than just being read by academics). And of course I'll share the results with all my fellow activists. I also do a lot of speaking engagements, so I'm guessing I'd share some results during those talks, papers, a book... who knows.

    My primary goal is to produce results that are helpful to other activists in trying to motivate others toward conscious consumer choices (including Vegan choices) that align with their own values. A revolution based on compassion and personal responsibility.

    :)

  4. #4
    DavidT's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm interviewing vegans/conscious consumers -- research subjects needed!

    Hi, mattbear.

    What you're doing sounds good, useful and interesting: there is not enough research and data out there on veganism. But do you actually need vegans? I'm looking at this part of your post:

    Quote mattbear View Post
    but more specifically I’m looking to find out why some people who know the consequences of their consumer choices still are able to suppress their own values and make choices that go against those values – like environmentalists (who know the environmental impacts of eating animals) who continue to eat meat/animal products; how Animal Rights activists and/or those who care about animals and know the truth about the meat/egg/dairy industry continue to be Vegetarian but not Vegan or maybe not even Veg (my focus is on food consumption).
    which is (I hope and assume) no-one on this board.

    I'm happy for you to interview me via Skype (I'm in Ireland, a notoriously poor place for vegans) but what use would I be in the light of the above?
    "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine" - Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5

    Default Re: I'm interviewing vegans/conscious consumers - research subjects needed!

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the reply!

    Yep, I should've stated that more clearly -- I am in fact looking to also interview Vegans so that I can get a better understanding of how they came to be Vegan. When I went Vegan back in the early '90s, I transitioned -- stopped eating animals, then stopped eating cheese, etc. But even while I was making this transition and was still eating animal products, I already knew the truth about the consequences of my choices. How was I able to suppress that knowledge and keep eating animal products (for a while)? How did I finally break free and live consistently with my values?

    The primary goal of interviewing Vegans is to find if there are similarities in the ways in which we overcome obstacles. If I can find patterns, it might help the movement (by removing obstacles, by pointing them out so people know what to expect, and/or by offering solutions to overcoming obstacles).

    I'm honestly not sure what I'll find in the research. But I'd love to add you to my list of folks willing to be interviewed. May I?

    Thanks again!
    :) matt

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    DavidT's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm interviewing vegans/conscious consumers - research subjects needed!

    mattbear

    No problem. Pee-emmed you.
    "The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine" - Abraham Lincoln

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    Default Re: I'm interviewing vegans/conscious consumers - research subjects needed!

    Very interesting.... It would be good if it turned out that vegans are actually among the most ethical and cognitive of the lot, doing what they believe in and doing it coherently and consistently Can we remain anonymous or would you need surnames etc?

  8. #8

    Default Re: I'm interviewing vegans/conscious consumers - research subjects needed!

    Q: "Can we remain anonymous or would you need surnames etc?"

    A: Well, because it's officially "human research" I have to have the true name and signature on a consent form (even though it's just an interview). But from there, it's entirely confidential. I am the *only* one who will ever know who you are -- pseudonyms (fake names) will be used for the stored data/info/papers, etc. Name info will be destroyed once the study is complete and all the data has been recorded.

    And, yes, I wonder what we'll find -- somehow Vegans seem to overcome what they see as "obstacles" to going Vegan. How do these "obstacles" manifest themselves in others? Stay tuned.

    Thanks for the question!

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    fortified twinkle's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'm interviewing vegans/conscious consumers - research subjects needed!

    Quote vegetarian_cat View Post
    Very interesting.... It would be good if it turned out that vegans are actually among the most ethical and cognitive of the lot, doing what they believe in and doing it coherently and consistently Can we remain anonymous or would you need surnames etc?
    I think many vegans will find they don't always consistently follow their own beliefs in what is right. I don't think it's just about food... for instance, I believe in climate change and the need to act drastically to counteract it, yet I do very little towards that at the moment (e.g. I know I should insulate my house better, but have been too lazy/disorganised). And that's just one example
    "If you don't have a song to sing you're okay, you know how to get along humming" Waltz (better than fine) - Fiona Apple

  10. #10

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    Default Re: I'm interviewing vegans/conscious consumers - research subjects needed!

    I'm happy to be a "subject" . I'm on Skype too... 'cos I'm in Italy...

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