Environmental Science and Policy
Environmental degradation is a direct result of our actions based on the current paradigm of having infinite resources to support infinite consumption. The paradigm penetrates our everyday lives; one of its expressions is our diet that is a direct cause of environmental issues. Although animal agriculture is an environmentally devastating industry, it is an industry with the most potential to change in response to consumer demand. To do that, we have to start by changing individual attitudes; such process is facilitated by education, conversation, and experience. The Vegan Challenge was designed to fulfill the three requirements: it educated people about food and an alternative lifestyle as well as new framework for thinking, introduced conversation in form of sharing knowledge and ideas, and experience by becoming vegan for a week with the help of two researchers-supporters. The Vegan Challenge proved to be a great success: not only the participants decreased their environmental impact during the week long study, they also reported a transformation into more conscious and better feeling citizens, who will hopefully pass their experience on in a similar process.
©2010 Alice Reznickova
Reznickova, Alice, "The Vegan Challenge: Through Veganism to a Paradigm Change" (2010). Special Studies, Smith College, Northampton, MA.