a quick book review.

being a vegetarian for 20 years, i was looking forward to Melanie Joy, PhD's book, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows and her concept of carnism.

in the book she writes: "we don't see meat eating as we do vegetarianism-as a choice, based on a set of assumptions about animals, our world and ourselves. rather, we see it as a given, the "natural" thing to do. we eat animals without thinking about what we are doing and why because the belief system that underlies this behavior is invisible. this invisible belief system is what I call carnism."

unfortunately, i felt that the carnism concept wasn't examined in enough depth. granted, it is a short book, under 150 pages when you remove the resources and bibliography but much of the book is composed of descriptions of slaughterhouse practices and the suffering of animals. while I feel this is important to be aware of, it is not something that hasn't been covered by other books (Animal Liberation by Peter Singer) and movies (Food, Inc.).

i liked what she had to say about how society justifies the eating of meat through myths. she calls these myths the "3 N's of Justification"; that eating meat is Normal, Natural and Necessary. she discusses how "carnists" are able to continue eating meat through the objectification and abstraction of animals, hence blocking feelings of disgust triggered by empathizing with animal suffering.

overall, i think this is a valuable book, but not one that covers any new ground.

No comments:

Post a Comment

you got somethin' to say?