TITLE: Perceptions of plant-based diets and challenges to reduce/end consumption of animal-based foods in Argentina. AUTHOR: Alexandra Navarro. KEYWORDS: consumption; diet; meat; vegetarian; vegan; Argentina.
Alexandra Navarro, PhD.
The full title of this Guidance Memo is: Food and culture in Argentina: Perceptions of plant-based diets, stigmatization of veganism and current challenges of activism to reduce (and end) animal consumption.
It delineates the fundamental cultural drivers of meat consumption in Argentina: 1) Powerful belief system in favor of eating meat. 2) Deep stigmatization of veganism. 3) Pervasive narratives and behavior justifying meat-eating that most people consider as “common sense” and which are sustained by institutions (e.g. healthcare, legal, education systems).
And it explains why the current strategies of vegan activists in Argentina hinder rather than help reduce/end meat consumption.
An array of big and small practical measures to tackle these challenges are suggested. They range from influencing school curricula and training teachers, to professionalizing the vegan activist community (e.g. encourage them to show awareness of academic experts and the latest research when they do media interviews). Here's an example:
To enter the hegemonic media with paid, quality propaganda that addresses the issue of reducing meat consumption but in a particular way. In Argentina, the only way to create meaning that crosses all social sectors is through local customs and practices. This is the strategy of successful feature films, powerful political campaigns, and advertisements that mobilize ordinary people. In Argentina, it's from traditional customs that the public "falls in love."