Carol J. Adams

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Carol J. Adams (born 1951) is an American writer, feminist, and animal rights advocate. She is the author of several books, including The Sexual Politics of Meat (1990) and The Pornography of Meat (2004), focusing in particular on what she argues are the links between the oppression of women and that of non-human animals.

Quotes[edit]

  • Through butchering, animals become absent referents. Animals in name and body are made absent as animals for meat to exist. Animals' lives precede and enable the existence of meat. If animals are alive they cannot be meat. Thus a dead body replaces the live animal. Without animals there would be no meat eating, yet they are absent from the act of eating meat because they have been transformed into food.
    • The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (New York: Continuum, 1990), p. 40.
  • Through symbolism based on killing animals, we encounter politically laden images of absorption, control, domain, and the necessity of violence. This message of male dominance is conveyed through meat eating—both in its symbolism and reality.
    • The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (New York: Continuum, 1990), p. 189.
  • Meat is a cultural construct made to seem natural and inevitable. By the time the argument from analogy with carnivorous animals is made, the individual making such an argument has probably consumed animals since before the time she or he could talk. Rationalizations for consuming animals were probably offered when this individual at age four or five was discomforted upon discovering that meat came from dead animals. The taste of dead flesh preceded the rationalizations, and offered a strong foundation for believing the rationalizations to be true.
    • “Ecofeminism and the Eating of Animals”, in Ecological Feminist Philosophies, edited by Karen J. Warren (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996), p. 124.
  • In ontologizing women and animals as objects, our language simultaneously eliminates the fact that someone else is acting as a subject/agent/perpetrator of violence.
    • “Ecofeminism and the Eating of Animals”, in Ecological Feminist Philosophies, edited by Karen J. Warren (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996), p. 125.
  • When we are meat eaters living among meat eaters, our world is reflected back to us, confirming our choices. When we become vegetarians, we stop being reflections; we may even be accused of breaking the mirror. … Just when we think our work is done, we discover that it has only begun: the challenge isn't becoming a vegetarian; it is being a vegetarian.
  • I coined the term feminized protein for eggs and dairy products: plant protein produced through the abuse of the reproductive cycle of female animals. Feminized protein is taken from living female animals, whose reproductive capacity is manipulated for human needs. The unique situation of domesticated female animals required its own term: a sexual slavery with chickens in battery cages and dairy cows hooked up to milking machines. … The radical truth is that people can be perfectly happy as vegans, but the dominant culture can’t or won’t acknowledge this. … Being vegan is an exciting, wonderful culinary experience and we probably don’t even know what’s possible because it’s still so new. … The process of objectification/fragmentation/consumption can be interrupted by the process of attention/nowness/compassion.

External links[edit]

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