While it would not be accurate to suggest that Ireland is a hub of veganism or vegetarianism, too often it is written off as inherently unsympathetic to the ethics of plant-based eating and anti-speciesist politics. While it is true that Irish culture is historically tied to speciesism and its economy is especially dependent upon “meat” and dairy production, Ireland’s relationship with other animals is complex and sometimes forgiving. This essay seeks to bring shape to the Irish vegan ethic, one that can be traced along its history of animism, agrarianism, ascendency, adaptation, and activism. From its pagan roots to its legacy of vegetarianism, Ireland’s history has been more receptive to Nonhuman Animal interests than might be currently understood. Its contributions to the modern Nonhuman Animal rights movement and developments in green agriculture must also be taken into account. More than a land of “meat” and potatoes, Ireland exists as a relevant, if overlooked, participant in Western vegan thought.
Wrenn, C. L. (2019). The Land of Meat and Potatoes? Exploring Ireland’s Vegan and Vegetarian Foodscape. DOI: 10.31235/osf.io/t83yg