Are Your Friends Carnists? Neo-Carnists?

Back in 2009, we posted a video here that was a “trailer” for a new book: Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows, by  Melanie Joy, Ph.D. Ed.M. Joy is a leading researcher on the idealogy of “carnism”, a belief system that allows people to hold conflicting views, specifically about animals.

In 2011, Eccentric Vegan saw a presentation by Joy at the Animal Rights Conference in Los Angeles. Joy pointed out that the “happy meat” and “locavore” movements are a positive sign, and referred to those who endorsed these trends as “neo-carnists.”  Many of us decry these movements, saying they have got it wrong. But they are indicative of a shift toward a more compassionate society. In her article for One Green Planet, published June 28, 2011, Joy succinctly explains the concept of carnism and how understanding it can help vegans and vegetarians comprehend why omnivores are so often defensive about veganism.

This year, Joy was a featured speaker at the McDougall Advanced Study Weekend. You can watch her 60+-minute presentation here.

The concept of “carnism” has spread widely across the web and the world.  It’s a valuable concept that helps us understand why we encounter resistance from omnivores to the idea of veganism. It helps many of us recognize where we ourselves were, perhaps not that long ago. Especially it helps us live compassionately.  Thank you, Melanie Joy.



2 Responses to Are Your Friends Carnists? Neo-Carnists?

  1. yeah i know alot of people that eat meat religiously, without giving it a second thought. and no, they aren’t really my friends. it is better to live a compassionate and cruelty free life.

  2. @the fake tao bond:

    I have a lot of friends and family who still eat meat and other animal products, and yeah, sometimes it’s very discouraging. How can someone you love do something that you consider so morally reprehensible? I find it best to live by example and to explain that veganism isn’t a purity game but an attempt to reduce as much unnecessary suffering as possible. (Making yummy vegan dinners and desserts is a big help, since plenty of people still have no idea how good vegan food is.) In the 8 years or so since I’ve gone vegan, many of my friends and family members have significantly reduced their consumption of animal products overall or have even gone vegetarian or semi-vegan. Obviously I’m not taking all the credit for this but I know that my influence has helped.

    Shutting non-vegans out of your life might make you feel better in some ways, but it really doesn’t help the animals. As Jon Camp (I think?) has said, “We don’t want a vegan club–we want a vegan world.”


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