Food studies and animal rights

Authored by: Carol Helstosky

Routledge International Handbook of Food Studies

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415782647
eBook ISBN: 9780203819227
Adobe ISBN: 9781136741661

10.4324/9780203819227.ch28

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Abstract

This article evaluates the impact that the animal rights and animal welfare movements have had on contemporary food habits. After tracing the history of vegetarianism, the article argues that food studies scholars should take more seriously animal rights and animal welfare movements, not only for their philosophical and moral underpinnings, but also in terms of their very real and measurable impact on meat eating. Although seemingly opposed in viewpoints, animal rights advocates and food studies scholars have much to learn from each other. After decades of publication on vegetarianism and the costs of meat consumption, the time is right for a new generation of food studies scholars to evaluate the relationship between humans and non-humans in terms of food consumption and to bring the field of food studies squarely into current debates about the social and environmental costs of food choice, the malleability of food habits, and the ethics of certain food traditions.

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