A law lecturer has published a paper examining whether "freegans" - people who help themselves to things other people have thrown away - are guilty of theft. The study, by Sean Thomas, senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, considers whether or not the items they forage have been legally abandoned. Freegans shun the consumer economy and scavenge instead. Their name comes from the words "free" and "vegan", although not all freegans adopt a vegan lifestyle. Dr Thomas' paper argues that because of the nature of the movement, freegans are unlikely to face criminal sanctions, even if the items they scavenge are not legally abandoned.