The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory

The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory

by Carol J. Adams
     
 

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The Sexual Politics of Meat argues that what, or more precisely who, we eat is determined by the patriarchal politics of our culture, and that the meanings attached to meat eating are often clustered around virility.

Sales Points

The 20th Anniversary Edition of this cult classic: a book that has changed the lives of thousands of women.

"A bible of the

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Overview

The Sexual Politics of Meat argues that what, or more precisely who, we eat is determined by the patriarchal politics of our culture, and that the meanings attached to meat eating are often clustered around virility.

Sales Points

The 20th Anniversary Edition of this cult classic: a book that has changed the lives of thousands of women.

"A bible of the vegan community" - the New York Times.

This book includes a brand new preface by the author, examining how society's attitudes have changed (and how they haven't) over the last two decades.

Description

First published in 1990, The Sexual Politics of Meat is a landmark text in the ongoing debates about animal rights. In the two decades since, the book has inspired controversy and heated debate.

The Sexual Politics of Meat argues that what, or more precisely who, we eat is determined by the patriarchal politics of our culture, and that the meanings attached to meat eating are often clustered around virility. We live in a world in which men still have considerable power over women, both in public and in private. Carol Adams argues that gender politics is inextricably related to how we view animals, especially animals who are consumed. And she argues too that vegetarianism and fighting for animal rights fit perfectly alongside working to improve the lives of disenfranchised and suffering people, under the wide umbrella of compassionate activism.

This 20th Anniversary Edition includes a new preface by the author, discussing new developments in the field and answering some of her critics. If you've never read The Sexual Politics of Meat, prepare to have your worldview challenged - and possibly turned upside down - liketens of thousands of readers before you.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Many cultures equate meat-eating with virility, and in some societies women offer men the ``best'' (i.e., bloodiest) food at the expense of their own nutritional needs. Building upon these observations, feminist activist Adams detects intimate links between the slaughter of animals and violence directed against women. She ties the prevalence of a carnivorous diet to patriarchal attitudes, such as the idea that the end justifies the means, and the objectification of others. In Frankenstein , Mary Shelley made her Creature a vegetarian, a point Adams relates to the Romantics' radical politics and to visionary novels by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Dorothy Bryant and others. Adams, who teaches at Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, sketches the alliance of vegetarianism and feminism in antivivisection activism, the suffrage movement and 20th-century pacifism. Her original, provocative book makes a major contribution to the debate on animal rights. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Writer/activist/university lecturer Adams's important and provocative work compares myths about meat-eating with myths about manliness; and explores the literary, scientific, and social connections between meat-eating, male dominance, and war. Drawing on such diverse sources as butchering texts, cookbooks, Victorian ``hygiene'' manuals, and Alice Walker, the author provides a compelling case for inextricably linking feminist and vegetarian theory. This book is likely to both inspire and enrage readers across the political spectrum: we learn, for example, that veal was served at Gloria Steinem's 50th birthday, as well as of the atrocities of the slaughterhouse. One wishes Adams had been more careful about documenting some of her claims--her contention, for instance, that early humans were entirely vegetarian, requires scholarly support. Nevertheless this is recommended for both public and academic collections.-- Beverly Miller, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id.
Booknews
This tenth anniversary edition of a book that might seem like some strange side-dish next to the more meaty entrees concerned with race, class, gender, and sexuality is a testament to the book's importance, one based on establishing connections between eating and being. Ms. Adams views eating as more than pleasure, business, and nutrition, seeing it intermixed in a succotash of linguistic, cultural, and political practices connected to man/woman and human/animal relations. Read this book to find out about the "absent referent," usually an animal absented by being linguistically appropriated to dramatize the speaker's experience ("He treated me like a piece of meat,"), the ancient but "absented" vegetarian themes in literature, and the absented vegetarian canon<-->great works by great writers on vegetarianism passed over by otherwise omnivorous instructors. Even after 10 years and a fresh-in-the-trenches breed of anarchovegans fighting the good fight, Adams still has vital things to say to those thinking about slaughtered flesh. The tenth edition contains a new preface and an updated bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
New York Times

A bible of the vegan community.
Toronto Globe and Mail

In the 20th-anniversary edition of this thought-provoking book, Adams explores the links between the slaughter of animals and violence directed against women, and ties the carnivorous diet to such patriarchal ideas as 'the end justifies the means.'
New York Review of Books

...a richly polemical discussion of the relationships among patriarchal culture, the exploitation of women and of animals, and the politics of meat-eating.
Environmental Ethics

The Sexual Politics of Meat couldn't be more timely, or more disturbing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826405135
Publisher:
Continuum International Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/28/1991
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.66(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Carol J. Adams is an activist and author of The Pornography of Meat, Living Among Meat Eaters, and many other books challenging a sexist, meat-eating world. She is a sought-after speaker throughout North America and Europe, and has been invited to more than 100 campuses to show "The Sexual Politics of Meat Slide Show," which is always being updated to include contemporary cultural representations.

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