Monograph by Emelia Quinn published by Oxford UP
Reading Veganism: The Monstrous Vegan, 1818 to Present focuses on the iteration of the trope 'the monstrous vegan' across two hundred years of Anglophone literature. Explicating, through such monsters, veganism's relation to utopian longing and challenge to the conceptual category of the 'human,' the book explores ways in which ethical identities can be written, represented, and transmitted.
Reading Veganism proposes that we can recognise and identify the monstrous vegan in relation to four key traits. First, monstrous vegans do not eat animals, an abstinence that generates a seemingly inexplicable anxiety in those who encounter them. Second, they are hybrid assemblages of human and nonhuman animal parts, destabilising existing taxonomical classifications. Third, monstrous vegans are sired outside of heterosexual reproduction, the product of male acts of creation. And finally, monstrous vegans are intimately connected to acts of writing and literary creation. The principle contention of the book is that understandings of veganism, as identity and practice, are limited without a consideration of multiplicity, provisionality, failure, and insufficiency within vegan definition and lived practice. Veganism's association with positivity, in its drive for health and purity, is countered by a necessary and productive negativity generated by a recognition of the horrors of the modern world. Vegan monsters rehearse the key paradoxes involved in the writing of vegan identity.