February 2017

Veganism: An Elegant Solution to a Host of Global Problems?

Based on the “speed talk” Nina Gheihman presented at Global Food Plus 2017, February 24, 2017, which was recorded live on Facebook.

Image of Nina Gheihman

The year 2016 was hailed the “Year of Veganism.”[1] In the last year alone, Google searches for the term “vegan” increased by 32 percent; the World Health Organization classified processed meat as a carcinogen in the same class as cigarettes[2]; and a survey by Nutrition Business Journal found that more than a third of people consume dairy and meat alternatives regularly.[3] While many people still see veganism—the non-consumption of products derived from animals—as an extreme cultural practice, it is clear that veganism is no longer a marginalized social movement. This brings up the intriguing sociological question: How does a fringe cultural practice become mainstream?

Elite Cues or Social Cues? The Formation of Public Opinion on Foreign Policy

A new study challenges long-held beliefs about what influences the public’s positions on foreign policy.

Image of people forming the shape of a person

In July 2014, a wave of violence erupted in the Middle East, as Israel responded to a barrage of rockets from Gaza by launching airstrikes, and eventually, a ground incursion intent on degrading Hamas’s military capabilities. In Washington, both Democrats and Republicans firmly sided with Israel: the Senate passed a unanimous resolution blaming Hamas for the conflict, and both prominent Democrats and Republicans gave staunch defenses of Israel’s right to defend itself.