Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows

author: Melanie Joy, University of Massachusetts Boston
produced by: University of Maribor
published: Aug. 20, 2012,   recorded: August 2012,   views: 14144

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Social psychologist Melanie Joy explains carnism, the invisible belief system that shapes our perception of the meat we eat, so that we love some animals and eat others without knowing why. Joy explains how carnism, like other isms (sexism, racism, etc.), is most harmful when it is unrecognized; and it is sustained by complex social and psychological mechanisms. Using powerful imagery, thought-provoking analyses, and a compelling narrative, Joy describes the ways in which carnism conditions us to unknowingly act against our core values, our own interests, and the interests of others. By illuminating the invisible mechanisms of carnism, Joy helps viewers become more informed consumers and empowered citizens.

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 Rob Evans, September 21, 2012 at 1:12 p.m.:

Hi, I would just like to make the point as a 'carnist'. 65bn animals killed per year creates an average of only 9.2 animals per person per year. A large number of those will be chickens and other small yielding animals, so not all that much meat is consumed.

Comment2 Rebecca, September 30, 2012 at 4:19 p.m.:

Hi Rob. It's really interesting to me that you think that all human beings on earth have the same amount of food to eat.

Comment3 Maria, October 1, 2012 at 7:55 p.m.:

Thank you so much for an interesting lecture, it's time for people to think about what they eat and do.You are such an inspirational woman

Comment4 John READ, October 5, 2012 at 8:47 p.m.:

This is a great lecture. The points made by Melanie are very important and I find, get to the heart of the issue.
I must say though, if people cared more they would be more sensitive to reality and the fact they're not so sensitive indicates they don't care so much.
This lecture doubles my resolve to continue as a vegetarian although I've always enjoyed the taste of dead animals. To become vegan I'd have to stop eating cheese and that's a step too far for me right now because I've always loved cheese so much. At least for now.
Thanks to Melanie and all concerned for giving me the opportunity to see this lecture.

Comment5 Zee, December 4, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.:

I admire Melanie Joy's idea in term of unawareness, and I would like to raise a bit more thoughts.
I guess most people know how dogs and cats treat birdies, butterflies or beetles when they catch one: they play these little creatures, and the scene is not any nicer than the Chainsaw Massacre. I guess most people know the food for our dogs and cats (partially) comes from animal farms instead of green houses. Would it be justice that we judge carnism but allow our pets to violate it? Or, would it be justice to force our carnivorous pets become vegans?

Comment6 Murad Khan, April 12, 2013 at 1:14 a.m.:

For hundreds of thousands of years
the stew in the pot
has brewed hatred and resentment
that is difficult to stop.
If you wish to know why there are disasters
of armies and weapons in the world,
listen to the piteous cries
from the slaughterhouse at midnight.

Comment7 Murad Khan, April 12, 2013 at 1:14 a.m.:

For hundreds of thousands of years
the stew in the pot
has brewed hatred and resentment
that is difficult to stop.
If you wish to know why there are disasters
of armies and weapons in the world,
listen to the piteous cries
from the slaughterhouse at midnight.

Comment8 Raz, May 28, 2013 at 12:45 p.m.:

Melanie Joy has some good things to say about´╗┐ humans and animals, but it's quite sad that when you go to her talks, she gets sidetracked and brings her anti-male, feminist ideas into the talk, I think she should stick to the issue at hand and stop making sexist, bigoted remarks about men, which are misandrist nonsense anyway,because of her stereotyping language. I won't be going to anymore of her talks, even though I'm passionate about animals rights, because I can't stand sexism in any form.

I asked her if she saw research that showed that female animals were treated worse than male animals, but there was still plenty of male animal suffering, would she call herself a femanimalist and disregard the problems of the male animals, and she said no, she wouldn't. So why the freak does she do just that with humans, there are as many asshole women out there as there are men, and there are as many good men out there as there are good women.

End sexism, do not support Melanie Joy.

Comment9 Raz Siwel, June 13, 2013 at 11:05 p.m.:

What a joke. Is the irony lost on people that Melanie talks about the comparison of sexism with animal rights, yet if you go to her talks, you will hear over and over again, her radical men-hating statements, generalizing about half the population of the world, it's disgusting, and makes me sick to my stomach, to hear his this bigotry, and the fact that she is using the vegan movement to push her ugly sexist feminist ideology.

If you feel queasy when you hear despicable sexist bias, do not attend any of her lectures, or if you do, take a sick bag with you. The amazing thing is that she is a psychologist but can't see her own projection of whatever her underlying hurt is. Get real Melanie and find another forum to offload your emotional problems, men will not be walked over anymore by feminists who think we don't have the guts to call a spade a spade in case we are called misogynists, when feminists are full of misandry. Go and find another issue and take your sick and ugly men-hating feminism with you, don't dirty the name of animal rights with it.

Next she will call for veganism to only look at female animal rights, perhaps a new movement called Feminalism. What a joke. Don't be fooled by her.

Comment10 markgil, June 15, 2013 at 3:59 p.m.:


i have been to at least half a dozen of Melanie Joy's talks and never once heard her say anything anti-male, nor has anyone i know heard her say these things. if anyone is preading hate propaganda, perhaps it is you?

Comment11 John J, June 26, 2013 at 2:32 a.m.:

Dr. Joy's presentation here does not contain one shred of evidence to support any of Raz's accusations/claims. And ditto what markgil said.

That being said, this presentation is one of the most powerful, compelling, and effective tools I know of to share with non-veg*n friends and family (and I've been at this for over 40 yrs now). I post it frequently on FaceBook, and encourage others to share it with their family and friends.

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