PhD Candidate in History, University of York
I am a researcher in the final year of my PhD, working on the history of vegetarianism. My thesis explores the role of the vegetarian/vegan diet within leftist thought from the period of the French Revolution to the socialist revival of the late nineteenth century, examining the beliefs, writings and activities of those who identified it as a vital element of a larger transformative radical agenda.
My broader research interests are based around the history of the British Left - with a particular focus on libertarian and 'ethical' socialism, counterculture and the politics of diet and daily life (including feminist and ecological critiques). I also work on the history of animals and the human-animal relationship, through which I explore ideas regarding ‘natural’ and social hierarchy, class, race, gender, nationalism and imperialism.
The rise of the vegetarian and, more recently, the vegan diet is generally perceived to be a new phenomenon. So, too, is their association with contemporary progressive ideas, politics and lifestyles. But plant-based diets...