Franko, Emily. “You Are Who You Eat With”, Boston College, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:107377.
This study investigates the barriers to adopting vegetarian and vegan diets. Why do people who try to adopt these diets fail to maintain them? Why do people who identify as vegetarian or vegan allow exceptions in their diets? This study used a series of intensive interviews and a survey to answer these research questions. Interviews and survey responses revealed the following barriers to maintaining vegetarianism/veganism: social barriers, a lack of vegetarian/vegan options, a loss of a “black-and-white” perspective on diet, nutritional barriers, personal cravings, time barriers, and a tendency to subscribe to gendered meanings of meat eating. Social barriers were the most salient challenges for study participants. Participants indicated that they commonly encountered several types of social barriers while attempting to maintain vegetarian/vegan diets. This study concluded that cultural norms must change in order for people to find vegetarian/vegan diets more viable. Most significantly, this study found that having a supportive social network of people who adhere to a similar diet is extremely important for people as they try to maintain vegetarianism/veganism.