The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory / Edition 1

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'The connections traced between rampant masculinity, misogyny, carnivorism, and militarism operate as powerfully today as when Carol Adams first diagnosed them twenty years ago.'
J. M. Coetzee

For twenty years, The Sexual Politics of Meat has inspired, engaged, and challenged readers. Now, with a foreword by Nellie McKay, an expansive new preface by the author, and 8 pages of images culled from popular culture, The Sexual Politics of Meat is as startling, revelatory, thought-provoking, and lifechanging as when it first appeared.

'A bible of the vegan community.'
New York Times

'Her argument is rational and persuasive . . . New ground - whole acres of it - is broken by Adams.' Washington Post

'Important and provocative . . . Likely to both inspire and enrage readers across the political spectrum.'
Library Journal

'Adams's original, provocative book makes a major contribution to the debate on animal rights.' Publishers Weekly

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

To learn more, visit Carol Adams online at her website.

In just over a year, the book with the strange title--and even strager ideas, some would say--has become the classic articulation of the hidden connections between meat eating and patriarchy, between vegetarianism and feminism. Now in paperback and widely available to readers everywhere, The Sexual Politics of Meat will have an even larger impact on the American public.

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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.
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 (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441173287
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 4/29/2010
  • Edition description: 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 330
  • Sales rank: 300,277
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface to the 20th Anniversary Edition


Foreword by Nellie McKay

Part One: The Patriarchal Texts of Meat

1. The Sexual Politics of Meat

2. The Rape of Animals, the Butchering of Women

3. Masked Violence, Muted Voices

4. The Word Made Flesh

Part Two: From the Belly of Zeus

5. Dismembered Texts, Dismembered Animals

6. Frankenstein's Vegetarian Monster

7. Feminism, the Great War, and Modern Vegetarianism

Part Three: Eat Rice Have Faith in Women

8. The Distortion of the Vegetarian Body

9. For a Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory

Epilogue: Destabilizing Patriarchal Consumption


Select Bibliography


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