Celebrity Endorsements

One of my favorite ads for the Battle Creek health empire's burgeoning line of fake meat products (dating to June 1899), with an endorsement from Clara Barton:

As vegetarianism became commercialized at the end of the nineteenth century, the vegetarian press and product marketers alike emphasized the dietary practices of celebrities and other prominent individuals as a means to vie for social and cultural acceptance. Barton herself was a some time vegetarian to treat bouts of illness, beginning with a visit to a health sanitarium in upstate New York in the early 1880s. Utilizing a non-doctrinal vegetarian like Barton to advocate for vegetarian products helped broaden the appeal of vegetarian eating, though at the same time helped lessen organizational vegetarianism's focus on social issues in deference to a more consumption-oriented culture.

More examples to follow...


celebrity endorsements said...
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Susan said...

This is interesting. I just came to your blog through twitter. I write a blog about women in history. My particular interest is in women in science/math and the women's suffrage movement in the US. I'd be interested to know of other women who were involved in the veg reform movement. I'm always looking for interesting women to write about.
Thanks. I'll be sure to read more of your posts.
Susan Ozmore

Adam Shprintzen said...

Susan, thanks much for the note and welcome to the blog, which as you can probably see has been going a little bit unattended as of late (revising my manuscript has pretty much taken over my free time). Hopefully more to come on the blog, however, soon. I also really look forward to looking through your site and learning about your research as well. As you can imagine there were lots of intersections between vegetarians, suffragists and medical practitioners. And the gendered dynamics of the vegetarian movement, especially in critics' arguments against the diet are very interesting to be sure.

If you have any specific questions about any particular figures, etc..., please feel free to drop a quick email. Thanks again, hope all is well.

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