New research has suggested that when you compare what influences different diet tribes in their diet choices, the vegan tribe is less conditioned by others. A diet tribe is a social group sharing common values and beliefs that underlie food and lifestyle choices, and in addition to vegans, the study looked at those following Fruitarianism, Raw Food Diet, Paleodiet, Macrobiotic Diet, and others.

The study — authored by Agata Ando, Giulia Passariello, and Alessandro Zennaro, all from the Department of Psychology of the University of Turin, Italy — is titled “From the need to the knowledge. Feeding emotions and thoughts: Assessing emotion regulation strategies in food tribes” and it was published in October 2022 by the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. Using Google form questionnaires, they surveyed 378 healthy subjects (117 males, 258 females, and 3 others) ranging in age from 18 to 70 years.

The researchers examined the presence of rumination (focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress, and on its possible causes and consequences), psychological inflexibility (the rigid dominance of psychological reactions over chosen values and contingencies in guiding action), and emotional contagion (a form of social contagion that involves the spontaneous spread of emotions and related behaviours) as components of emotion dysregulation (an emotional response that is poorly regulated and does not fall within the traditionally accepted range of emotional reaction). 

It is interesting to notice that vegans were less conditioned by others than people from the paleo tribe, which helps to dispel the claims from veganphobes that veganism is a cult where people have been brainwashed by others. But it should be noted that the study separates vegans from people who eat Macrobiotic food and Raw food, while there may be overlapping as there are vegan versions of these two food tribes. Had the raw vegans and the Macrobiotic vegans been counted in the vegan tribe cohort perhaps the vegan group might have shown more external conditioning. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.