Peter Tomany | The Vegan Society

Peter Tomany

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Peter Tomany, Vegan Society Researcher Network member
Edinburgh Napier University

I am a data professional with a background in Mathematics, currently pursuing an MSc in Data Science at Edinburgh Napier University.

My dissertation will explore the relationship over time between the sentiments expressed on social media towards veganism, as exposed through sentiment analysis of Twitter feeds, with the changing thematic picture of veganism captured using dynamic topic modelling.

Veganism is quite different to other topics of social interest, such as climate change in that it is considered by some as an end unto itself, with the objective of reducing animal suffering, whereas other proponents consider it as a stepping-stone to some other end objective, such as tackling climate change, religious considerations, achieving better health etc., and the animal welfare consideration is secondary or even irrelevant to their thinking.

One remarkable aspect of veganism in the public discourse is the intensity of the negative sentiment expressed towards it by its detractors. It has been noted that this intensity varies depending on the stated motivations of vegans for their lifestyle.

Therefore, it is meaningful to study the sentiments associated with reactions to the distinct flavours of veganism (ethical, environmental, etc.) distinctly.

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