Lisa: Quite a Read!
I just finished reading Melanie Joy’s "Why We Love Dogs Eat Pigs And Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism, The Belief System That Enables Us To Eat Some Animals And Not Others". It is a thoughtful and interesting book written by an extremely intelligent woman who is a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Ms Joy lays out her argument that we have been conditioned throughout our lives to think and act a certain way towards animals; that most of us do this now without even thinking, that we don’t even see eating animals as a choice but rather as a natural thing to do. It is the vegetarians and vegans who are making a choice and violating the social norms and are punished for doing so. She argues that practically and socially it is easier to eat meat than not. Going to a restaurant for a meal is an obvious example; the majority of restaurants celebrate meat and vegetarians often have to explain their choices, defend their diet and apologize for inconveniencing others.
Here is an excerpt from an interview Ms Joy did with Good magazine in June 2011:
"If you took a cross-section of Americans and you asked them if their value system supported intensive, extensive, and completely unnecessary violence toward other sentient beings, of course they would tell you no. And yet at the same time these very people—just like I had done when I was younger—enable such violence on a daily basis by eating meat. Not only that, but many of them get angry if you try to shed light on where their meat originates—just telling people you’re vegan can sometimes inspire hostility. That’s because people know, on some level, that animal agriculture is horrific but support it anyway. By raising awareness of the reality of animal agriculture, you shed light on that moral discomfort that most people feel at the idea of eating animals.”
This book is sure to start some interesting discussions and challenge readers to own up to the choices they makes each time they consume animal based foods. I highly recommend it.