Veganism 2.0: Gastromania, nutrition, and digital communication


  • Simona Stano University of Turin and New York University



veganism, gastromania, digital communication, social media, semiotics


The vegan population has risen significantly over the past decade, and is expected to continue increasing. Social media are believed to have played a major role in such a rise. According to a Google study (2018), veganism started to spread markedly in 2012, the same year that Instagram became popular, and has then grown in correlation with the expansion of the social network (with over 88 million #vegan posts out of a billion monthly active users and more than 500 million people using the platform daily today). Since 2016 conversations around veganism have increased also on Twitter, reaching nearly 20 million Tweets in 2018 and registering a further growth of 70% in 2019. Moreover, the number of Google searches for veganism has spiked from a popularity rating of just 17 out of 100 in 2008 to 88 in 2018. Functioning both as platforms for sharing and commenting on information and as effective channels for proselytizing, these and other social media have evidently extended the boundaries of the vegan movement, making it become one of the biggest contemporary food trends. This paper aims at identifying and describing the main cultural transformations and forms of life promoted by “veganism 2.0â€, based on a semiotic approach particularly attentive to the analysis of the narrative level and the patemic dimension. To this purpose, the intersections between the so-called “gastromania†and other trends characterising contemporary foodspheres, such as “gastro-anomy†and the “ideology of nutritionism†are taken into account, paying particular attention to the gastronomic discourse in present-day digital mediascapes and the complex dynamics characterising them.


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How to Cite

Stano, S. (2021). Veganism 2.0: Gastromania, nutrition, and digital communication. Digital Age in Semiotics & Communication, 4, 12–30.