Book Review – Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An introduction to carnism

Author: Melanie Joy PhD
Foreword: John Robbins
Conari Press, 2009

Melanie Joy’s groundbreaking book is an examination of the ways in which people tend to have strong feelings against animal cruelty, except when it comes to the animals they eat. Why is it that people feel so strongly towards their companion animals but care little for the plight of the billions of farm animals that end up on our plate? Joy describes this belief system as ‘carnism’, and argues that it enables people to disconnect from the harm that they cause when they eat animals. She also looks at the institutions and structural elements in society that maintain a status quo whereby eating meat is deemed normal, natural and necessary.

Like other forms of discrimination, carnism is most destructive when it goes unchallenged and unseen. Joy’s book focuses not only on why we shouldn’t eat meat but also on why so many people do eat meat.

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