Customer Reviews


177 Reviews
5 star:
 (126)
4 star:
 (17)
3 star:
 (15)
2 star:
 (10)
1 star:
 (9)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


135 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Values and Behavior Clash
Melanie Joy's Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows illuminates the moral incongruence at the heart of the American diet: how we can love our pets and value kindness to animals generally, yet consume meat from corporations that severely abuse and slaughter 10 billion sentient creatures a year. Dr. Joy explores the many ways we numb ourselves and disconnect from our...
Published on February 3, 2010 by Bradley Larsen

versus
62 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed information, but hard to read
This book is a tough read. If you are an animal lover or sensitive to suffering you'll find it very hard to get through this book. I wanted to evaluate it because the title intrigued me.

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows, tells the appalling side of the meat industry. The descriptions are so horrific, however, it was impossible for me to read through...
Published on September 27, 2009 by Marilyn Dalrymple


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

135 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Values and Behavior Clash, February 3, 2010
By 
Bradley Larsen (Santa Rosa, California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Melanie Joy's Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows illuminates the moral incongruence at the heart of the American diet: how we can love our pets and value kindness to animals generally, yet consume meat from corporations that severely abuse and slaughter 10 billion sentient creatures a year. Dr. Joy explores the many ways we numb ourselves and disconnect from our natural empathy for farmed animals. She points out that in the affluent industrialized world, we don't eat meat because we have to, but because we choose to. We like the taste and everybody else is doing it. Joy coins the term "carnism" to describe the belief system which holds that it is ethical and appropriate to make the choice to eat animals.

Dr. Joy notes that following a carnist rather than a vegetarian or vegan dietstyle is made less distressing by the fact that most of the billions of animals Americans eat each year are literally hidden from sight. Animal agribusiness spends a fortune creating the fiction that these animals live outside on idyllic farms. Dr. Joy encourages readers to become informed about the violence and suffering bound up with mainstream food choices, and to begin reducing consumption of animals products. She sees regaining empathy for suffering farmed animals as part of a vital process of personal and societal integration, wherein values, beliefs, and behavior come into harmony.

These ideas resonate with me because my wife and I dearly love our two cats, Justa and Justine, and our Bernese Mountain Dog, Pearl. Each one has a unique personality and shows great will power in realizing goals and desires. Like the humans in the household, they fully experience pain and suffering as well as contentment and joy. One revelation in Joy's book is that farmed animals are essentially no different from our pets--each one is an individual with a desire to live without pain and to express his own nature. Subjugating farmed animals to a lifetime of unrelenting suffering ended only by a brutal death is not supported by the values of most (pet-loving) Americans. It really is time to transform our meat-centered culture: for the animals, for the environment, for our own physical and spiritual health. Read this book to find out how.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


195 of 218 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hunter Finds Thie Book Compelling, November 23, 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been a meat eater- a carnist- my whole life,as well as a dog lover, and have been a hunter since I was 12 back in Wisconsin. I found Dr. Joy's book compelling, thrilling to read, and pointing the finger at the culture we've all grown up in, not at individuals.

I was able to take in her message because it was presented in a non blaming, non shaming way.

I may still hunt and bring home an animal to the table every now and then. I know the paradox and pain of what I'm doing for my food.I accept it even as I wrestle with it. But I will never purchase or knowingly eat another morsel of factory meat. I've been to Auschwitz and Birkenau, and seen how mechanized slaughter works, and how inhumane it is, whether it's people, pigs or pugs. Joy points out what "we" are doing- there's no blame in her tone. The systemic structure of carnism, just like the systems of racism, sexism, totalitarianism, is evil at it's core, precisely because there is no "we" there, seeing what "we" are causing to done in "our" name. Thanks to Dr Joy for sending a message to open our eyes. After reading this book, we know, and must take responsibility for our choices.Negligence starts tomorrow.

I may still hunt and kill an animal on occasion, and many will berate me for that. But I will no longer be party to wholesale slaughter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


84 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Need to Put Glass Walls on Slaughterhouses, September 21, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Why do so many people find great delectation in their beef, pork, and chicken products but cringe at the thought of eating meat from a dog? Why can people sympathize so deeply with dogs, but remain coldly detached from the "necessary" slaughter of cows, pigs, and chickens for their eating pleasure?

Melanie Joy, a psychologist, professor, and author, explains these inconsistencies in Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. She points out that many people engage in selective empathy, feeling for some animals but not others, based on what they've learned.

She asserts that much of our beliefs about animals and what is appropriate for eating is based on illogical thinking, physic numbing, misinformation, and denial. Being told that it's okay to eat meat over and over from childhood to adulthood, being denied access to the slaughter of animals, and pushing animals' suffering from our imagination results in being a carnist, someone who eats meat, not from necessity, but from choice.

I find the author's arguments, logical, convincing, and morally compelling. If we have to force ourselves to be ignorant and block our empathy in order to eat meat, then we're fooling ourselves at the detriment of animals and our own moral integrity.

Thinking about animal suffering clearly, seeing the horrors that animals suffer without sugar-coating their slaughter with mythologies, considering the options we have as omnivores, and freeing ourselves from the lies (repeated they become false truths), and vegetarianism becomes the logical conclusion.

The author wants us to stop denying the trauma and torture that animals suffer because of many people's choice to be carnists. She makes it clear that any normal human being who no longer denies the suffering of animals cannot enjoy partaking in them as meals.

To unravel our conditioned denial, the author has to give graphic accounts of what really goes on in slaughterhouses. Quoting Paul McCartney, she writes "that if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian." Her exposé chapters on the killing of animals are meant to be just that, a glass wall, to allow us to see exactly what meat eating really entails.

Another book that I recently read that helped me examine the ethics of eating, which I strongly recommend, is The Face on Your Plate by Jeffrey Masson.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


62 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed information, but hard to read, September 27, 2009
By 
Marilyn Dalrymple "MaLing" (Lancaster, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is a tough read. If you are an animal lover or sensitive to suffering you'll find it very hard to get through this book. I wanted to evaluate it because the title intrigued me.

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows, tells the appalling side of the meat industry. The descriptions are so horrific, however, it was impossible for me to read through them all. As an animal lover and someone who has been aware of the treatment animals receive before being deposited on our dinner tables for many years, I was aware of the abuse of farm animals - I thought.

The treatment animals receive, according to this book, is much worse than I had imagined. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows makes a good argument on several levels; the need for humane treatment of animals, how our eating habits effect our health and the impact of the ecological climate of our planet. Reading this book will give meat eaters, or those described by author Melanie Joy, Ph.D., as performing acts of "carnism," reason to pause.

The first chapter discusses how and why some can love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows and how our society got that way. The end of the book lists resources that will enable those who want to act on the book's information will have some idea of where to start. Because of this, readers aren't left with a feeling of helplessness. I appreciated that very much.

I would have to reiterate, if you are an animal lover and/or sensitive to violence, this may not be a book for you. If, however, you want to learn more about the treatment of animals and need to know what happens to them between birth and our dinner tables so you can prepare yourself with facts, this would probably be a good resource.

I appreciate Joy's courage in writing this material. Her research and writing could not have been easy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After reading this book, one faces a choice, January 2, 2010
I discovered Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows through the well-done promotional video for the the same book on YouTube which shows a man refusing to eat what is on his plate when he discovers it's a dog, rather than a cow, pig, etc... This is exactly how most of us would react, isn't it? Joy's book goes into detail explaning how we are able to go through life with this kind of cognitive dissonance regarding our beliefs about animals. I think for those of us living in the U.S., it's a relatively easy thing to go through life in such a fog since most of us never see the suffering that animals endure who are raised for food, clothing or subjected to experiments. My eyes were opened on a trip to India a few years ago because animal suffering and exploitation is not so well hidden as it is here. I was a carnist for most of my life all the while calling myself an ardent animal lover. It took so many things, so many conversations, so much reading to shift my thinking and thereby change my life. I wish I'd had this book available to me back then. I think the lightbulb would have switched on for me sooner since Joy's book shines a very bright light on our inconsistent treatment of animals. After reading a book like this, one faces a choice - continue on as usual or begin to view all animals as being worthy of our moral consideration and respect.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dietitian's perspective, February 4, 2010
By 
Ginny (Port Townsend, WA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As a dietitian involved in vegan education, I found this book absolutely fascinating. It's written for meat eaters and explores the ways in which "carnists" avoid the moral discomfort inherent in viewing some animals as pets and others as food. Carnists embrace what Joy calls the three Ns of justification: Eating meat is normal, natural, and necessary --the very same justifications that have been used to defend every exploitative system in history, including African slavery and efforts to deny voting rights to women.

Until now, carnism as a belief system has not been named because it is the norm in our society. It's mainstream--which is simply a way of describing an ideology that is so widespread and entrenched that its practices are regarded as "common sense." Ideologies that fall outside the mainstream--like vegetarianism--on the other hand, are easier to recognize.

More importantly, though, the way in which entrenched ideologies remain entrenched is by staying invisible. And the primary way in which they stay invisible is by staying unnamed. "If we don't name it, we can't talk about it," Joy says. "and if we can't talk about it, we can't question it."

Carnism depends on another type of invisibility as well. The agricultural industry goes to great lengths to protect the secrets of how animals are raised for food on modern factory "farms." The system is necessarily cruel because, from a business standpoint, animal welfare is a barrier to profit. Producers don't want consumers to see these cruelties, nor do consumers want to see them.

Joy identifies the cognitive defenses that carnists employ, and suggests that, because empathy appears to be hardwired in our brains, carnistic defenses may actually go against our nature. We cannot be wholly integrated if we care about animals but support widespread animal cruelty. Joy is honest about the difficulties involved in closing the gap between values and behavior, but she is encouraging about the benefits to the individual, and practical in her recommendations.

Based on research in the field of psychology, including Joy's own, this book is a thought-provoking analysis of how meat eating has become so entrenched as to over-ride what people actually believe and hold valuable. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows is highly recommended for both vegetarians and carnists and for anyone interested in the psychology of food choices.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, not just for vegetarians!, February 22, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm glad I read this book for so many reasons. Why We Love Dogs is eye-opening in many different ways, and it's a smooth read as well. It's definitely not just for vegetarians-- I have eaten meat my whole life and I got a lot from this book. Social psychologist Melanie Joy asks and answers many of the questions that have been conspicuously absent in the minds of most Americans regarding the origins of the meat that makes its way to our markets, groceries, and restaurants. How many animals are slaughtered? Where and how are these animals raised? Why don't we ever see them? This book made me realize that much of our meat comes from an inhumane production process that is unsafe, unsanitary, and which ultimately renders it unhealthy for human consumption. Our meat industry not only exploits billions of animals every year in the worst ways, it also exploits us, its consumers. Joy exposes the myth that our meat and dairy products come from wholesome family farms, and details the many hidden health risks associated with meat consumption. I credit this book not only with being the impetus for an enormous improvement in my diet, but also with awakening me to the reality of a horribly exploitative system operating in America. I would recommend it to anyone.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shamburgers, Misteaks & Babyback Fibs, September 30, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Suggestions that eating other animals brings about an inner discomfort, or inconsistency, that people are generally unaware of. The question, then, is how can the average American, who very likely considers her - or himself nonviolent toward other animals, eat their bodies and experience no apparent discomfort?

Carnism denotes the ideology of meat consumption. Ideologies are social belief systems that have enormous power to shape people's attitudes and behaviors. Ideologies are often so embedded in society that their influence is mostly unconscious-and therefore unquestioned. Typically, ideologies are only recognized when are an exception to the "normal" way of thinking (what we call the "dominant ideology"). This is why there is a name, vegetarianism, for the ideology that considers the consumption of other animals inappropriate or unethical. The dominant ideology in our society maintains that eating other animals is normal and even necessary. However, there is no name for this ideology. We therefore tend to view eating animals not as a choice, but as a given. This way of thinking makes society view the consumption of animals as normal, natural, and legitimate.

Ideologies can hide contradictions between people's behaviors and their values. They allow people to make exceptions to what they would normally consider ethical, without even realizing it. This is how we can understand carnism. If we consider carnism to be an ideology, then we can explain why it is possible to love some animals and eat others. We have been so socialized to believe in the legitimacy and necessity of carnism that most people do not even think of their meat as having once been an animal. Indeed, most people begin eating meat before they can even talk, and the process of maintaining the invisibility of the animals who become food continues for the rest of our lives.

Certain ways of thinking support carnism. In order to eat or process the bodies of other animals, individuals need to use a degree of "psychic numbing" - the separation of thoughts from feelings and of beliefs from practices. This psychic numbing was expressed through a variety of defense mechanisms. Among the most notable are:

* Denial ("animals don't really suffer when being raised and killed for meat")

* Justification ("it's acceptable to eat certain animals because they're bred for that purpose")

* Avoidance ("don't tell me that; you'll ruin my meal")

* Dichotomization ("I think of some animals as companions and some as food")

* Dissociation ("when I look at meat, I don't connect it with an animal-if I did, I would be disgusted and unable to eat it")

Carnists often continue as carnists due to a number of factors, perhaps the most prominent of them being fear. Since ideologies tend to perpetuate themselves, it should be no wonder that the carnistic system works quite hard to ensure that its members remain loyal, using fear as an effective tool toward this end. For instance, many of us have been led to believe that if we stop eating meat, we will become unhealthy, seen as antisocial, weak or less "manly," flaky, and a host of other stereotypes. These notions are communicated through the mass media, in which vegetarians are often portrayed as strange or radical. They are also conveyed through carnistic "education" campaigns and marketing, where meat is associated with health, strength, community, and normalcy.

While an understanding of psychic numbing may help us better relate to carnists, it can also help us better appreciate and value our own choice to be vegetarians. Psychic numbing, when used to enable violent practices such as carnism, is, arguably, psychologically unhealthy. Unfortunately, though, the field of psychology has typically supported, rather than challenged, the status quo, and so the use of massive psychological defenses to enable participation in violent practices that are contrary to one's deeper value system is generally not considered psychologically questionable. Instead, those who resist the dominant ideology (i.e., vegetarians) tend to be either ignored or pathologized-for instance, a psychologist might assume that one's vegetarianism is simply a mask for an eating disorder.

Thus, what may be one of the most important points to remember as vegetarians is that mental health comes not from unquestioningly participating in what we have learned is normal (consider the average German in Nazi Germany), but from practicing we believe is right. It comes from living in accordance with our deepest values, values such as personal authenticity, integrity, empathy, and compassion for all beings. What better model for a peaceful planet? What better lesson to teach our children?

"Since all creatures without exception, great or small, want only to be happy and not to suffer.
May they have compassion and kindness, the source of happiness
May they be free from aggression and cruelty, the source of suffering."

Though this book is predicated from a most likely pre-determinant non animal consumer ... at the very least it affords the viewpoint of many's "gut feeling". Animals chose not to be in cages or in huge factory farms ... if in fact they did they would not need electrified fences (and such things) to imprison them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What We Think About When We Think About Meat, December 17, 2009
By 
My 1939-born father eats meat, but he refuses to eat lamb because he was once witness to an ewe's butchering. Melaine Joy's book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows explains the processes of cognitive dissonance behind "carnism," and what results is a truly clearheaded and provocative text about why we pet dogs and fork pork. Joy points out that the time for a post-carnism society is now more now than ever, what with the potential for vegetarian and vegan lifestyles to dovetail with increasing cultural concerns about waste and longevity--both ours and our planet's. Me, I'm not immune to the dissonance Joy does a great job describing. What I aspire toward, however, is a brain that knows when it's being duped by received patterns. Joy's book is clear and challenging, exploring not only why we eat meat, but why we don't think about it, and what we can do to change that.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing perspective, October 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism (Paperback)
I began my journey as a vegetarian in a fairly uneducated way. Not yet knowing why in the beginning, I had trouble with the social construct and seemingly irrational practice of nourishing our bodies from death. Melanie Joy looks at both the psychology and social aspects of carnism in such a powerful and instructive way that it cannot be ignored, in addition showing the mechanisms that keep the status quo in place. Melanie Joy explains how carnism "rationalizes the irrational, ignoring the huge gaps in logic". This is not a book that leans on the emotion of the issue of animal torture and treatment or guilt from a holier than thou perspecive. The author presents the facts in a direct way and asks you to ask yourself some profound and disturbing questions. You will not remain unchanged after reading this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism
Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy (Paperback - September 1, 2011)
$16.95 $13.37
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.