The animal agriculture industry, like other profit-driven industries, aggressively seeks to shield itself from public scrutiny. To that end, it uses a distinct set of rhetorical strategies to deflect criticism. These tactics are fundamental to modern animal agriculture but have long evaded critical analysis. In this collection, academic and activist contributors investigate the many forms of denialism perpetuated by the animal agriculture industry. What strategies does the industry use to avoid questions about its inhumane treatment of animals and its impact on the environment and public health? What narratives, myths and fantasies does it promote to sustain its image in the public imagination?
Foreword by David Nibert
Introduction: The meat industry explains things to us by Jason Hannan
1. Pink slime is good for you? The animal-industrial complex as neoliberal–neoconservative corporate ventriloquism by Norie Ross Singer
2. Grieg in the henhouse: 12 seconds at the contested intersections of human and nonhuman animal interests by Daniel Lees Fryer
3. Ethical meat from family farms? Transparency and proximity in a blog marketing campaign on broiler production by Saara Kupsala
4. Whose land? Whose beef? Marketing beef in Canada by Kelsey Speakman
5. Colouring outside the lines: Symbolic legitimacy and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans by Barbara Willard
6. Meat taboo: Climate change and the EU meat lobby by Núria Almiron
7. Exporting meat, exporting progress? The Australian meat export industry and discourses of development and modernisation by Eliza Waters and Gonzalo Villanueva
8. ‘Stewed in mighty symbolism of wealth, power and masculinity’: The legitimation of ‘meat’-eating through anti-vegan rhetoric in mainstream US news by Lisa Barca
9. Veganism and Mi’kmaq legends by Margaret Robinson
10. Nonhuman animal labour and transformative dialogue: (Re)worlding meat by C. Vail Fletcher and Alexa M. Dare
11. The Save Movement: Bearing witness to suffering animals worldwide by Anita Krajnc
Afterword: Meatsplaining in the Pyrocene by Jason Hannan
About the Contributors
Jason Hannan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications at the University of Winnipeg in Canada.
"powerful, timely and essential"
– David Nibert, author of Animal Oppression and Human Violence: Domesecration, Capitalism, and Global Conflict
"Meatsplaining equips us to identify the lies at the heart of animal agriculture. It's an excellent and timely compilation on an exceedingly vexing problem."
– Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat and Burger
"Meatsplaining is the first book to give an apt name to the animal agriculture industry's relentless campaign of disinformation and denialism [...] Written in a clear, lively, and accessible style, Meatsplaining will surely educate the public about the horrors of animal agriculture."
– Marc Bekoff, author of The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age
"Cruelty thrives in secrecy, and the meat industry is highly skilled at concealing the routine abuse and misery that flourishes on modern farms. Meatsplaining cuts through the spin, and exposes the meat industry's massive PR machine. It explores how Big Meat uses language, obfuscation, and denial to misdirect the public's attention away from its commodification of sentient animals, environmental devastation, and the looming health crisis caused by eating animals. This book is a must-read for animal advocates, and anyone else who no longer wants to be lied to."
– Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
"This book [...] provides a necessary corrective to the fantasy world created by meat industry propaganda. As we grapple with a global zoonotic pandemic and biodiversity crisis, it is urgent for us to [...] start thinking clearly about who and what is on our plates."
– John Sorenson, Brock University
"Academics from a wide variety of fields, sociology to anthropology, political science to philosophy, and of course communication and media studies, will benefit from engaging with this book. As will activists looking to tell stories, frame narratives, and counter-lobby the lobbyists either in the halls of legislature or on the streets. There is much to gain from this collection in terms of tactics, strategies, and critique."
– Alex Lockwood, Animal Studies Journal
"With the global zoonotic pandemic and biodiversity crisis in our hands, this book is timely and extremely valuable in this era of mass extinction."
– Tiina Ollila Trace, Journal for Human-Animal Studies