Ep. 162: Melanie Joy - The One Word That Explains Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
We’re going to introduce you to a word today that may be new but is something many of us unknowingly participate in on a daily basis.
That word is “carnism.”
Melanie Joy coined the word in her work as a Harvard-educated psychologist and author specializing in the psychology of eating animals, social transformation, and relationships.
What exactly is carnism? It’s the Invisible belief system in our culture that conditions us to eat certain animals and not others. Her book title actually sums it up perfectly, Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. From birth, we’re conditioned to believe that cows, chickens, pigs, and fish are food…and, here in America, dogs and cats are pets. We don’t even question it. The fact that this belief system is so ingrained in our culture is, in fact, carnism.
But, my friends, the tide is turning as people are waking up and becoming more aware that,
We don’t have to consume animals to survive and thrive
There are better and more humane ways to treat animals – ALL of which deserve respect and dignity
And, we simply don’t have to act against our core values as empathetic human beings
Awareness is the first step and with awareness, we are better able to think freely and act compassionately, to create healthier and more fulfilling relationships and a more equitable and sustainable world.
11:00 Melanie’s Journey to veganism
15:25 Helping us understand carnism and how we’re a part of this invisible belief system
19:48 Carnism conditions us to act against our core values of compassion and empathy
24:00 In one day, more farm animals are slaughtered than the total number of people killed in all wars throughout history
24:30 Why carnism is a system of oppression and was this a big master plan?
26:00 Examples of carnistic defense mechanisms -
30:00 The Three “N” - normal, necessary, and natural
32:40 How do we piece the veil of carnism and start to dismantle the system? When you become aware of the system, you’re much less likely to be hijacked by it.
38:00 Are there classes and resources to learn more and develop effective communication skills around these topics?
38:42 Are we in a “meatocracy?”
41:06 How can this be so invisible if it’s so pervasive?
46:00 Why self-care and self-compassion are so important for change
50:58 How do we lower the bar for compassion and make it easier for people to make choices that align more with their values?
54:45 Is she hopeful about the future?
59:55 Are there countries around the world that are heading in the right direction?
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