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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Be a vegan or just dress like one : animal liberation in popular feminist media Grant, Juawana

Abstract

Contemporary feminist media, such as Bust Magazine, participate in spreading the messages of progressive social movements at the street level by packaging easily digestible articles with glossy photos and celebrity covers. The inclusion of vegan and animal activist messages represents a long history of feminist media including animal activist topics throughout feminist history. Further, alternative media have the potential to foster counterpublics and play a role in the development of social movements. This textual analysis examines the way discourses of veganism and animal activism are represented in Bust’s online media content and how Bust links veganism and animal activism to feminism. This analysis found that Bust represents animal activism in three ways: (1) By linking veganism to ethical consumerism; (2) By linking veganism and animal activism to celebrity and style; (3) By commenting on current events related to veganism or animal activism. Applying ecofeminist and critical animal studies theories, this research explores the potential and limitations of Bust’s subcultural appeal and commodity activism approach to animal advocacy. Bust’s subcultural “hipster” appeal and feminist politics make it an interesting site to explore the potential of feminist media to spread intersectional social justice messages that include nonhuman animals to an audience already primed for political protest by way of their feminist identities. This analysis finds, however, that Bust’s exclusion of diverse vegan perspective and ambivalent stance on animal activism compromises their feminist politics.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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