Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows

In my case, the only radio station that captures my attention is National Public Radio because I love listening to book reviews most of all. 

One morning I heard Dr. Melanie Joy, a professor, author, and psychologist discuss "carnism" in her newest book, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. The author defined carnism as a belief that it is ethical to eat certain animals such as cows and pigs while it is considered inappropriate to eat other animals such as our own cats or dogs. She examines how and why individuals can love their pets and value kindness to all animals but continue to purchase meat from corporations where cows and chickens endure enormous suffering and violence for our benefit.

Honestly, I consider myself an "almost vegetarian" which means that I eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains than meat but I've never been able to give up meat entirely but now that I've watched Dr. Melanie Joy's promotional video I am considering going meat-free and I have a feeling my conscience will thank me for it.

If this video influenced you to give up meat entirely, become an "almost vegetarian", or continue eating meat I'd love to read your comments!


  1. I can't watch the video because of my satellite, but I am an almost vegetarian too - but occasionally I need a steak or a great hamburger - of course it is grass-fed and farm grown.

    Lynn - the human behind the Scotties

  2. I have been a vegetarian for 12 years!! And the only dairy I consume is in Greek Yogurt and eggs. My love for animals of all kinds is so strong that I could never, even as a little kid, understand how people could rationalize in their heads which animals are ok to eat and which should be kept as pets. They are all living, breathing creatures and we as humans do not have the right to take that away from them. Not to mention, I always found it disgusting that in some countries dog is a delicacy but here it is against the law to kill and eat a dog, same as horses. While in other countries, cows are sacred and should not be killed but here they are the main source of meat for most humans. Just reiterates to me that we as humans are not all on the same page, and should certainly not consider ourselves the top of the food chain.

    Bruschi's Mom

  3. This is most interesting. This is kinda why we ain't allowed to go to China cuz they eats doggies and imagine if a weinie showed up in China...he he he...ok, that's not really funny.
    My mum doesn't eat alot of meat....cuz hers is too lazy to cook and hers afraid her will poison everybuddy not cooking it long enough...shhe's a dork.
    My mum's furiend whose kitteh jut passed is a BIG vegetarian.

  4. I'm a vegetarian as well. they have so many "like" or "fake" meat products now you wont miss the real stuff. I use the morningstar products a lot. Daisy (the pup) is a vegetarian too! its just all about getting enough food to make your diet balanced and healthy. you dont need meet in there to make it that way.

  5. Lady don't give mom any ideas. We ready eat duck & potatoes
    Benny & Lily

  6. I have to admit that I found the video a bit hard to watch, especially the treatment of the cattle, so I stopped watching...But I don't eat a lot of beef or chicken, but I do love a good burger or steak every once in awhile--However I DO NOT eat veal or lamb, and I have never fed any food that has it as part of their ingredients to our dogs either.

  7. I gave up red meat for my 30th birthday almost 15 years ago, but I do eat seafood...I miss red meat sometimes when I smell others eating it, but it hasn't really been hard=I did it for my love of animals...I eat lots of nuts/vegetables too.

  8. I have not watched video yet. But I do consider myself part vegetarin too. Me and my husband eat alot of chicken and fish. We eat just enough red meat to get our iron and protein in for the week.

    I love your pictures of your animals and the one that you pet sit for. You are a special person. Those people our lucky to have someone like you.

  9. Well, we have a mix here. Alpha Mom is a vegetabletarian, but she does eat dairy. Blog Mom says she'd be happy without meat but would probably still eat fish once in a while, except that Daddy doesn't eat fish and it's hard to feed him anyway. He's not supposed to have red meat anymore and they do have lots of non-meat meals, but they also consume a fair amount of chicken, even though they're both pretty tired of it. I'm a unrepentent carnivore, but, hey, I'm a dog. I'm a predator and hamburgers are prey as far as I'm concerned. I'd probably be happy with more cheese than meat but the Moms aren't at all sure that would be healthy for me. I hate veggies and kibble, so that is a bit of a problem for them.

    wags, Lola

  10. We are localvores. We like to know where our food comes from. We grow as much as we can and buy our meat and eggs from neighbors. Additional books for the summer reading list...'Omnivore's Dilemma' and 'Kitchen Literacy'. To each their own!

  11. my mama eats poultry but no red meat. my daddy and me and asa are 100% meat eaters. mama says it's really important to know where your meat is coming from and how the animals are raised. we are big fans of local, free range meat.
    the booker man

  12. I have a problem with anemia - I try to eat veg as much as possible, but sometimes I need a steak to keep me going.


  13. Thank you for posting this. I can't watch it yet but I'm going to when I feel brave enough. I, too, am an almost vegetarian and I take care to buy meat that comes from animals that suffered as little as possible in their living and dying. But it's hard to be sure, because we are so divorced from the source of meat these days and don't really know what went on.

  14. What an interesting topic! I've been a strict vegetarian for 10 years and feel terribly sluggish after years of eating vegetables processed to look like meat. Processed food, even vegetables, isn't good for anybody.

    These are just my thoughts but I've been weighing them heavily as of late. It began with the feeding my dogs as I pondered why I wouldn't bother to feed them human grade food... another thing we don't think about after years of being marketed kibble. While I'm still mainly a vegetarian, I refuse to neglect the natural order of my dogs' place in the food chain but I won't feed processed kibble of any sort either. I only buy from the Honest Kitchen where all ingredients are recognizable and all animals are free range and antibiotic/hormone free. The food is simply dehydrated and, when rehydrated, it turns into a stew that smells so good I'm temped to try it!

    That said, I've begun to re-examine my choices and now support only local farmers who treat their animals humanely. I don't think eating meat is so much a problem as long as my money doesn't fund the continuation of a massive, unfeeling industry that warehouses animals, erradiates beef because the facility isn't clean or makes cows stand in their own feces, injecting them with antibiotics to make up for the lack of a healthy environment.

    I guess that video really stirred my brain. What I find most intriguing is that it brings to light cultural differences even moreso than diet. It shoves our arbitrary cultural expectations "in our face" in such a postmodern way, making us see ourelves as strange. It's a brilliant tack you don't see every day. If only we ould easily examine all our cultural choices so readily.

  15. I've been vegan over half my natural life, but I won't tell you how many years that is because I'd be telling my age on the Internet.

    It's GREAT!

    And finding vegetarian (or vegan) friends (who are both smart AND supportive and well-informed) is the key to happiness in a vegetarian life, I think.

    Doing it (going vegetarian) on one's own (in private, in secrecy) could be fun at first if you're a loner, but I'd think it's a drag because we want to compare notes with others.

    "It's only human" to want to compare notes with each other.


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