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Have you ever wondered why we treat certain animals like friends and others like commodities or food? For example, dogs and cats are considered members of the family, but we slaughter and eat cows and pigs. Because we think there is a distinction between the animals we love and the ones we eat, we do not think twice about what has to happen to cows, chicken and pigs before they arrive on our plates as food.

In her TED talk, psychologist Melanie Joy, explores the reasons why we are disgusted by the thought of eating Golden Retriever, but happily enjoy beef, pork and chicken. All animals are equally sentient beings, but because we think that eating farmed animals for meat is, “normal, natural and necessary,” we never question our choice to mass slaughter and eat them.

By looking into how our society has normalized the consumption of meat, Joy contends that we all have a choice to remove ourselves from this cruelty, but the first step is awareness. Thinking critically and carefully about the roles we’ve assigned farmed animals versus our pets, we can see beyond the constructs of “carnism” and work towards a more compassionate future.

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0 comments on “Psychologist Explains Why People Eat Certain Animals But Love Others (VIDEO)”

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Jason Hamilton
1 Years Ago

I have also always wondered why people make a distinction between animals that are edible and those that are not. But I look at it from the opposite point of view. Why not add the animals we call pets to the menu as well, including dogs, cats, dolphins, and anything that is made up of meat? I agree with the lack of consistency but not with the overall goal of the vegans. I personally would not eat many cats because I really like them, and would probably eat a lot of dogs because I quite dislike them. But I wouldn\'t be offended if my neighbor preferred a cat cuisine or refused to eat meat altogether. Even if you make the argument of sentience, plant life is still life, so in order to further the human existence, one must consume something that was living in order to continue living. It is not, as one person commented, that people who eat meat cannot face the fact that they are murderers, so they live in denial as they continue to eat meat. People know they are murdering animals but do not find it morally objectionable. Natural law dictates that we do not kill our own kind, the way that other animals generally do not consume their own kind. Whether our bodies digest meat as well as other species is beside the point. Our bodies naturally crave what nourishes us and are disgusted by that which is not edible. Therefore, if some people crave vegetables over meat, then I would not deny them the fulfillment of their appetites. But those who crave meat are likewise fixed in their idea of what is nourishing and cannot be persuaded by arguments to the contrary.

A sceptical mind
3 Years Ago

Can anyone make a list with all the logical fallacies shown is this video please? I think the best why to defend an argument is to have a good discourse. This is an important topic for humanity, i find this way of explain the thinks totally irrational and sickness

mark l chaves
3 Years Ago

Hello, how can I get a copy of the transcript for this wonderful presentation?
Thanks so much,

Hari Krishna
3 Years Ago

It is just the common human attitude - \'If you make me happy , I love you"...in other words "selfishness".

3 Years Ago

To me, as a vegan, this talk was incredibly moving and emotional. I could see it was for her, too. However, I feel that her talk speaks only to a very small subset of the population. What do we do with those people who have been made aware of carnism and extolled on the benefits of veganism, yet refuse to stop eating animals? There are those who are aware of carnism and are carnist fundamentalists, and there are those who we see and interact with everyday, who know all these things, yet still eat meat every day. And then there are those who view vegans as conspiracy theorists. They see this, and yet they automatically do not view us as credible and so refuse to believe. How can we craft a message that appeals to all of these people? It\'s so easy to see and feel these things once you no longer eat meat, but to see it when you do? You\'re basically telling all meat eaters that they are murderers, and they commit atrocities on an incredible scale and expect them to mentally reconcile this. It\'s too painful and weird to think about so it gets buried again (that is if they even heard and understood the message in the first place). That\'s what I want to know. For animals, for women, for the global poor- for all those victim to the dominant ideologies. Tell me that. I need to know.

3 Years Ago

Interesting talk!
It\'s great to see the psychological side of our nutritional decisions highlighted. But unfortunately, this presentation was not well-balanced, it missed the important discussion of how humans have evolved, how our bodies are prepared to digest meat, how many human cultures have developed around the practice of animal husbandry. Asking the world to follow vegan practices is not practical. I believe her message would have been more powerful and persuading had she elevated the topic to sustainability: the ideas behind organic and slow-food farming, for example.

14 Feb 2015

Human bodies are NOT designed to digest meat. Look at our teeth - do we have fangs like lions? A meat based diet increases our risk of all kinds of cancer - colon, breast, etc.

15 Feb 2015

Paula is correct. Our bodies actually have the most trouble digesting meats and dairy. Brilliant woman and she is great speaker. Loved it! Thanks Melanie for all your work on the subject.

Cynthia Schuck
3 Years Ago

Best video ever.


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