Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism

What is Carnism?

Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. Carnism is essentially the opposite of veganism, as “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” refers to a belief system.

Because carnism is invisible, people typically don’t realize that eating animals is a choice, rather than a given. In meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they eat certain animals but not others, or why they eat any animals at all. But when eating animals is not a necessity, which is the case for many people in the world today, then it is a choice – and choices always stem from beliefs.

As long as we remain unaware of how carnism impacts us, we will be unable to make our food choices freely – because without awareness, there is no free choice.

More on Carnism

Meet Melanie Joy

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