Morality on tap: The production and consumption of morality by "Vegandale"

  • Ryan Kelpin Department of Political Science, York University
Keywords: urban neoliberalism, Toronto, creative city, gentrification, ethical entrepreneurialism, ethical consumption, neoliberalism, social space


This article details the development of “Vegandale”, a corporate-vegan retail project within the borders of the traditionally marginalized Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale. This retail development has set out on a spatial discursive branding takeover of the neighbourhood, with the goal of changing the space—and the wider features of capitalism—through decontextualized consumption practices. This paper seeks to understand the social space and discursive consequences of this incursion of “ethical entrepreneurialism” into a marginalized but gentrifying neighbourhood. Ultimately, this paper will show the imaginary of post-speciesism and moralistic consumption masks the structural realities of capitalism and invisibilizes humans in its exploitative social relations, rendering its project as just another aspect of actually-existing neoliberalism in the gentrifying creative city of Toronto.