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The Pornography of Meat [Paperback]

Carol Adams

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Book Description

13 Jan 2005
A provocative exploration of how women are literally treated like 'pieces of meat' in contemporary culture. From advertisements to T-shirts, from billboards to menus, from matchbook covers to comics, images of women and animals are merged - with devastating consequences. Like her groundbreaking The Sexual Politics of Meat, which has been published in two editions, The Pomography of Meat uncovers startling connections: Why pornography demonstrates such a fascination with slaughtering and hunting. Rear-entry poses in pornography, implying that women - especially women of colour - are like animals: insatiable. How meat advertising draws on X-rated images. Why at least one prominent animal-rights group is 'in bed' with pornographers. With 180 illustrations, this courageous and explosive book establishes why Adams's slide show, upon which The Pornography of Meat is based, is so popular on campuses across North America and is reviled by the groups she takes on with insight and passion. From the rise of chain steakhouses to the language of the hunt, from the halls of government to the practice of artificial insemination of farm animals, The Pornography of Meat shows exactly how harm parades as fun to others.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. (13 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826416462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826416469
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.2 x 15.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,395,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of "The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory." It's been called "ground-breaking" and "pioneering" (interesting how our description of books draws from our invasive relationship to the land). Many say it is an underground classic, which I guess means that lots of people know and love it, but it goes unnoticed by the dominant media. Of course, when it first came out, that was slightly different. Then, right-wing reviewers around the world held it up as the latest example of academic excess and political correctness, which was funny to me, because I am not an academic. I used to teach a course I developed at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University on "Sexual and Domestic Violence: Theological and Pastoral Issues" -- but very infrequently. Basically, for as long as I have been an adult, I have been an advocate, an activist, someone trying to figure out how do we transform this d*#! world that is built on inequality.

I have published more than 100 articles in journals, books, and magazines on the issues of vegetarianism and veganism, animal advocacy, domestic violence and sexual abuse. I am particularly interested in the interconnections among forms of violence against human and nonhuman animals, writing, for instance, about why woman-batterers harm animals and the implications of this (it's in my book Animals and Women). Besides advancing scholarship and developing theory in the area of interlocking oppressions, I have created a series of books that address the vegetarian/vegan experience: Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian Survival Guide, Help! My Child Stopped Eating Meat! and The Inner Art of Vegetarianism.

I've worked to bring back into print Howard Williams's nineteenth-century classic text on vegetarianism, The Ethics of Diet. I have contributed prefaces to important vegetarian, vegan, and animal defense books and discovered an eighteenth-century vegetarian work that had never entered the vegetarian tradition.

Because I am so deeply moved by my relationship with animals, I have authored books of prayers for animals for both adults and children.

I am excited that the 20th anniversary edition of The Sexual Politics of Meat has been published!

I also write about literary topics, including two "Bedside" books: one on Frankenstein and one on Jane Austen. I am finishing a memoir on caregiving and reading. I really love the Bedside, Bathtub, and Armchair Companion to Jane Austen. In Britain, it was nominated for an award by the Jane Austen Center in Bath!

website: http://www.caroljadams.com/

Product Description


"Carol Adams offers a philosophical critique of advertisements that is innovative, even startling, yet which readers cannot help but acknowledge as her book unfolds....Carol Adams' work is analytical, critical, and shows remarkably original and independent thinking. Adams has witnessed and described what the rest of us fail to notice, and backs up her observations with scores of photographs. She unfolds he grizzly discoveries with a wry sense of humor, and sends readers out into the world with a fresh vision a vision that pierces through the images on the magazine rack, in the frozen meat section of the grocery store, on billboards, or in television advertisements. Adams' work heightens awareness, shifts thinking, and has the power to alter behavior what sort of companies do I want to support with my hard earned wages? Adams' analysis of advertisements is a chilling vision into the world we all see without seeing. She is right: readers are likely to be sickened by the realities she unveils. And very likely to feel aroused aroused to new ways of seeing, understanding, and shopping."" Philosophy Now, "July/August 2006--Sanford Lakoff

About the Author

Carol J. Adams is the author of The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory and Living among Meat Eaters in addition to six other books and four edited collections. She has been involved in the movement to stop domestic and sexual violence since the 1970s and has worked against racism and advocated for the homeless. She continues to tour US campuses with her slide show.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sex and violence selling each other 8 Dec 2003
By Karen Dawn - Published on Amazon.com
This more easily digestible offering from Carol J. Adams, furthers the provocative argument put forward in "The Sexual Politics of Meat" -- that meat eating is an intrinsic part of a patriarchal society.
Adam's tells us,
"Before someone can be consumed or used, she has to be seen as consumable, as usable, as a something instead of a someone."
In other words, in order to enjoy pornography, we must forget that the body we are watching is that of a full person who might want to be somewhere other than in front of the camera, naked. And in order to enjoy meat, we must not think of the life of the animal who would rather be out in a field guarding her offspring, than on our plate. Rather, we must think of both as consumable objects.
The book is full of visual images that make that link for us. For example, on page 14, we see a roasted chicken, photographed from above, wings crossed behind what should be the head but is the severed neck. A bikini has been painted on the carcass, so we have the impression of a sunbathing woman, roasting in the sun. A link is clearly being drawn between two consumable objects.
Adams shares many fascinating images from popular culture in which animals are feminized and women are animalized. Sometimes the analogies are clear, sometimes I find them too much of a stretch. But the pictures and arguments are all thought-provoking. 'The Pornography of Meat' is short and easy to read. It would make a great holiday gift for anybody with an interest in feminism.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting [But Abstract] Study of Parallel Oppressions 10 Jun 2003
By Kelly A. Garbato - Published on Amazon.com
"The Pornography of Meat" seems largely to be a condensed version of Adams's earlier volume, "The Sexual Politics of Meat". The general premise is the same, as are many of her arguments; however, "Pornography" is much shorter and easier to wade through.
With its informal writing style, "Pornography" reminds me of a journal-slash-scrapbook as opposed to a more scholarly piece of literature. Adams's writing style can be somewhat disconcerting; she shifts gears rapidly, leaving the reader with the feeling that she's jumping from topic to topic without fully resolving (many of) them. Her arguments are sometimes so abstract and theoretical that they seem enigmatic. Additionally, Adams does provide references, but not in an especially organized manner; as a result, it's hard to tell what information she pulled from which sources.
Don't get me wrong, "Pornography" is not without its redeeming qualities. Every few pages, Adams does hit the reader w/an excellent point, making all the other jargon worthwhile. The pictures (and there are many!) are the book's single best feature - but unfortunately they're all reproduced in black and white, many of them shrunk down to a fraction of their normal size so that the critical details are obscured.
One more minor gripe: as one of the leading AR organizations, PETA bears the brunt of anti-ARA criticisms, not all of them invalid. Though Adams does mention PETA's "exploitation" of women in their ads, the discussion is unfortunately very brief. As PETA is seen as the Church of the AR movement (and leader Newkirk as its Pope), I thought a more detailed discussion would have been appropriate (after all, what's more ironic than sexism in an organization designed to eradicate "ism"s?).
Adams is one of the few feminist writers that tackles the topic of "parallel oppressions" (speciesism, sexism, racism, etc.). There are painfully few books that deal with such issues, so "Pornography" is a must for anyone interested in the subject. If you'd like to learn more about feminism in relation to animal rights, this book is certainly worth the price - and is actually one of the few options out there.
37 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful 29 Oct 2003
By P. Smy - Published on Amazon.com
As a vegetarian, and as someone who is interested in media and the use of it, I had high hopes for this book. They were sadly not met. The idea is good, but the writing is horrible. Adams is all over the place. Paragraphs jump from one subject to another making no sense at all. It is very hard to follow. And there are few references - instead of foot or end notes Adams uses 'citations' at the back of the book and the reader is left to guess what exactly was cited on the page.
There is such a wealth of material available on this topic, and in the hands of a better writer this book would have been truly amazing.
Don't buy it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beat the meat 30 Oct 2009
By Ada Knitter - Published on Amazon.com
The pornography of meat not only adresses the need for intersectional analysis of dominance cultures but does so gracefully, in a historical context and with a lot litterary style. The arguments are well built-up and Carol shows much knowledge in feminist and post-colonial theory. The book covers much ground and returns to the same firm arguments that make it a complete work. When ze evokes Freud that does it for me though, and on single occastions the analysis is one-sided to the extent that I simply feel that there should be an explanation for why two ideas from the same pool seem to be almost contradicting each-other; you can't have the cake and eat it too! But for the most part the book is magnificent and presents its case very simply and adequate. Probably for those who are very easy on reading books which they don't agree on, and people already feminists and vegetarian; for the latter, it should make perfect sense from my perspective.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The pornography of meat 11 Dec 2009
By B. C. Carr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book. The theory behind it no doubt has a place in our society. However, the evidence used to support this theory is ad hoc at best. As a result there is no limit on the range that Adams attempts to apply her world view. The chapters lack focus as jumps from topic to topic. I would have like a little bit more unity and building up to the individual chapter focus. The other issue is the books lack of theory that works towards etiology. She does not describe an explanation behind her theory and somewhat bashes evolutionary psychologist David Buss who would provide an underlying theory. To be concise, the book is interesting but it is chaotic and appears to regress feminism back to the negative stereotype of the anger femiminst. There are better choices out there on both feminism and animal rights.
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