the flv file
New Book Introduces the Phenomenon of Carnism: The Belief System That Allows
Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others
In her groundbreaking new book, Why
We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows, Melanie Joy explores the invisible system
that shapes our perception of the meat we eat, so that we love some animals and
eat others without knowing why. She calls this system carnism. Carnism is the
belief system, or ideology, that allows us to selectively choose which animals
become our meat, and it is sustained by complex psychological and social
'A thoughtful book full of substance and style. Why We
Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows should be required reading for anyone
interested in what we eat and why.'
―Kathy Freston, author of
The New York Times-bestselling Quantum Wellness
San Francisco, CA
(PRWEB) December 19, 2009 -- In her groundbreaking new book, Why We Love
Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows (Conari Press, January 2010), Melanie Joy
explores the invisible system that shapes our perception of the meat we eat,
so that we love some animals and eat others without knowing why. She calls
this system carnism. Carnism is the belief system, or ideology, that allows
us to selectively choose which animals become our meat, and it is sustained
by complex psychological and social mechanisms.
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
other isms (racism, sexism, etc.), carnism is most harmful when it is
unrecognized and unacknowledged. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
names and explains this phenomenon and offers it up for examination. Unlike
the many books that explain why we shouldn't eat meat, Joy's book explains
why we do eat meat -- and thus how we can make more informed choices as
citizens and consumers.
FROM THE BOOK
From Chapter 1, The Missing
It is an odd phenomenon, the way we react to the idea of eating
dogs and other inedible animals. Even stranger, though, is the way we don't
react to the idea of eating cows and other edible animals. There is an
unexplained gap, a missing link, in our perceptual process when it comes to
edible species; we fail to make the connection between meat and its animal
source. Have you ever wondered why, out of tens of thousands of animal
species, you probably feel disgusted at the idea of eating all but a tiny
handful of them? What is most striking about our selection of edible and
inedible animals is not the presence of disgust, but the absence of it. Why
are we not averse to eating the very small selection of animals we have
From Chapter 2, Carnism, Ideology, and the Status Quo:
We tend to view the mainstream way of life as a reflection of universal
values. Yet, what we consider normal is in fact nothing more than the
beliefs and behaviors of the majority. Before the scientific revolution, for
example, mainstream European beliefs held that the sky was made up of
heavenly spheres that revolved around the earth, that the earth was the
exalted center of the universe. This belief was so ingrained that to
proclaim otherwise, as did Copernicus, and later Galileo, was to risk death.
So what we refer to as mainstream is simply another way to describe an
ideology that is so widespread --so entrenched -- that its assumptions and
practices are seen as simply common sense. It is considered fact rather than
opinion, its practices a given rather than a choice. It's the norm. It's the
way things are. And it's the reason carnism has not been named until now.
If animals could draft a manifesto, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear
Cows would be it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Joy, Ph. D., is a
psychologist, professor, and author. She teaches psychology and sociology at
the University of Massachusetts, Boston and is the leading researcher on
carnism. She is the author of Strategic Action for Animals: A Handbook on
Strategic Movement Building, Organizing, and Activism for Animal Liberation.
Joy can be found online at www.melaniejoy.org.