Event Title

The Endangerment Turn: Tracking the Transition of Vegetarian Discourse in Contemporary China

Presenter Information

Brendan Nuse, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 327

Document Type

Event

Start Date

4-28-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 4:20 PM

Abstract

This research examines changes between historical and contemporary iterations of Chinese vegetarianism discourse. Vegetarian discourse can be divided into two categories: entitlement (which focuses primarily on animals’ entitlement to life) and endangerment (which focuses on meat as a contaminating agent). This project attempts to determine how Chinese vegetarianism fits into this framework. It uses interviews with Chinese international students at Oberlin College, analysis of Chinese vegetarian blogs, and academic work by Chinese and non-Chinese academics to better understand the state of vegetarianism today as compared to the past. This study found that, while Chinese vegetarianism has historically been grounded in Buddhism, which primarily makes entitlement-based arguments, endangerment-focused vegetarianism is currently emerging in contemporary China. This research helps provide an understanding of Chinese vegetarianism within a social context, which helps both Chinese and non-Chinese people better navigate the Chinese vegetarian landscape.

Keywords:

China, vegetarianism, environment

Notes

Session II, Panel 12 - Switching | Discourse
Moderator: Jason Haugen, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Link to full text thesis at OhioLINK ETD Center:
http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=oberlin1495879423635075

Major

East Asian Studies; Environmental Studies

Advisor(s)

Ann Sherif, East Asian Studies
Dennis Hubbard, Geology; Environmental Studies

Project Mentor(s)

David Kelley, History; East Asian Studies

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Apr 28th, 3:00 PM Apr 28th, 4:20 PM

The Endangerment Turn: Tracking the Transition of Vegetarian Discourse in Contemporary China

King Building 327

This research examines changes between historical and contemporary iterations of Chinese vegetarianism discourse. Vegetarian discourse can be divided into two categories: entitlement (which focuses primarily on animals’ entitlement to life) and endangerment (which focuses on meat as a contaminating agent). This project attempts to determine how Chinese vegetarianism fits into this framework. It uses interviews with Chinese international students at Oberlin College, analysis of Chinese vegetarian blogs, and academic work by Chinese and non-Chinese academics to better understand the state of vegetarianism today as compared to the past. This study found that, while Chinese vegetarianism has historically been grounded in Buddhism, which primarily makes entitlement-based arguments, endangerment-focused vegetarianism is currently emerging in contemporary China. This research helps provide an understanding of Chinese vegetarianism within a social context, which helps both Chinese and non-Chinese people better navigate the Chinese vegetarian landscape.