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Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism Paperback – September 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite a penchant for melodrama, Joy (Strategic Action for Animals) offers an absorbing examination of why humans feel affection and compassion for certain animals but are callous to the suffering of others—especially those slaughtered for our consumption. She takes Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, and Jonathan Safran Foer's well-trod route and investigates factory farming, exposing how cruelly the animals are treated, the hazards that meatpacking workers face, and the environmental impact of raising 10 billion animals for food each year. She uses her factory farm–to–table narrative to buttress her real thesis: meat-eating or carnism, is an oppressive ideology as noxious as racism. Joy casts meat eating as genocide, comparable to the Holocaust, and factory farming on a par with the American enslavement of Africans. She might lose some readers in her zealotry, but there is great value in her contention that all systems of oppression depend on our ability to dissociate or find elaborate rationalizations to keep from recognizing the suffering of a socially sanctioned inferior. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Digital edition.
"An absorbing examination of why humans feel affection and compassion for certain animals but are callous to the suffering of others." --Publishers Weekly
"I think Gandhi would have loved Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. For this is a book that can change the way you think and change the way you live. It will lead you from denial to awareness, from passivity to action, and from resignation to hope." --John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution
"An altogether remarkable book that could transform the way society feels about eating animals." --Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of The Face on Your Plate
"A thoughtful book full of substance and style. It should be required reading for anyone interested in what we eat and why." --Kathy Freston, author of the New York Times bestselling Veganist and Quantum Wellness
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Strange that we care so intensely about a few who share our home, but the vast majority of food animals are beaten, thrown, shocked, or ignored as they suffer through the assembly line after their miserable short lives. The book points out the lack of feelings of the employees in the feed lots, chicken sheds, and farrowing pens ; how they become numb to the suffering they are a part of.
I grew up in an environment where my entire family ate meat. I understand how difficult it is to take a stand in midstream when all sorts of family customs and celebrations regarding food are firmly ingrained. For the last decade, I have been skirting around vegetarianism and have decided that a vegan lifestyle is the only cruelty-free way to go. When so many alternatives to meat and dairy are in the marketplace now, I don’t understand why a thoughtful, considerate person would not opt for this path instead of one where cruelty is the staple. I also understand that one’s family and circle of friends should care more about the one’s happiness then how convenient and easy it is to feed that person.
Dr. Joy’s examples are well constructed. She does not simply appeal to emotions to get her point across. In this book, for instance, I learned that 19,011 animals die every minute in the United States for food consumption, and that is not including the animals dwelling in water. This equates to 10 billion animals per year.
If you are wondering why you might view an animal who resides in your home differently than one who lives on a farm, this is a great book for you to read. Also, if you are just curious why people make conscious choices to change their eating habits, this is also a good read. Even someone who works in the agribusiness would find this interesting.
Thank you Dr. Joy for such a great solid book. I would definitely recommend this to others.
However, I would recommend this book to people who are just starting to explore animals issues. if you're already vegan or have done a lot of reading in this area, much of the content will feel light-weight and/or familiar.