Veganism: A Paradigm Shift?

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What would it mean to radically change the way we live with and think about other animals?

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Please note: the event is now going to be online. While it's a shame we cannot all meet up in Rome, this means you can join from wherever you are in the world, and that we'll have a smaller carbon footprint. Information about how to join will be sent out closer to the time.

Conference description:

The growth of veganism as a social phenomenon, and a parallel increasing theoretical interest in it, indicate a shift in how we think about our relationship with other animals and nature. This conference aims to explore four key dimensions of veganism: the motivations, possibilities, implications, and challenges of a world without animal exploitation.

The conference gathers researchers working in different disciplines to discuss the possibility of a radical change – social, economic, environmental and, underlying all these, conceptual and ethical – in the relationship between humans and other animals. The title “Veganism: A Paradigm Shift?” refers to the possibilities and challenges of radically re-configuring ways of thinking about and living with animals. This paradigm shift stands in opposition to a dominant framework in which animals are taken primarily as resources for human benefit (e.g., for food, cosmetics, clothing).

The conference takes place over three days at the Università La Sapienza in Rome. Four, thematically divided sessions mark key areas of enquiry related to the re-thinking and restructuring of animal-human relationship, with the aim of combining the theoretical foundations of the problem with its practical aspects:

1) Re-thinking human life in relation to animals 

2) Restructuring society, work and the economy

3) The well-being of human and non-human animals and of the planet

4) Broadening the concept of veganism to embrace a new relationship with animals and nature

Keynote speakers:

Elisa Aaltola (Philosophy, University of Turku)

Steve Loughnan (Psychology, University of Edinburgh)

Anat Pick (Film Studies, Queen Mary, University London)

​Nicolas Treich (Economics, Toulouse School of Economics)

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