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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"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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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.
By coining the term "carnism," Joy gives the animal rights' movement exactly what it needs: A term by which to label the violent ideology in which we live. She exemplifies just how powerful language can be as a weapon, and even provides actionable steps for the reader to use this weapon to change the world. That of course, is if the reader feels up to the arduous and uphill battle that they will most definitely face.
In the end however, while everyone who reads this book certainly won't be found on the picket lines of the nearest animal rights' protest, I like to (perhaps optimistically) believe they will at least occasionally choose a veggie burger instead.
Once you read the book, you cannot un-know what you've learned from it. It ignites a thought process that can lead to a meaningful, permanent life change.
Read it with an open mind and let the ideas sink in, think them over and allow yourself to reconsider things you took for granted.
The planet should thank Dr. Joy for this book!