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Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies

A Historical Collection


Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II and Amber E. George

Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection represents the very best that the internationally scholarly Journal for Critical Animal Studies (JCAS) has published in terms of articles that are written by public critical scholar-activists-organizers for public critical scholar-activists-organizers. This move toward publishing pieces about engaging social change, rather than high-theoretical detached analysis of nonhuman animals in society, is to regain focus for liberation at all costs. The essays in this collection focus on intersectionality scholarship within the realm of Critical Animal Studies, and discuss issues related to race, gender, disability, class, and queerness. Not only are these articles historically significant within the field of Critical Animal Studies, but they are integral to the overall social justice movement. Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection should be read by anyone interested in the Critical Animal Studies field, as we consider them to be classic writings that should be respected as foundational texts. There are many interesting and innovative texts, but these are historical, not only because they were published in JCAS, but because they were among the first to publish on a particular intersectional issue.

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Chapter Twelve: Home Is Where the Food Is: Barriers to Vegetarianism and Veganism in the Domestic Sphere (Kathryn Asher / Elizabeth Cherry)


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Home Is Where the Food Is

Barriers to Vegetarianism and Veganism in the Domestic Sphere



Food is essential to survival, yet there is much more to our consumption than merely meeting physiological needs (Germov & Williams, 2008). Our food choices stem from the complex interplay between biological, nutritional, sociological, and psychological factors (Blades, 2001). Food has a central importance in social life, with social gatherings often organized around eating (Germov & Williams, 2008). Food is also imbued with meanings and symbolism, and is thought to shape our sense of identity (Beardsworth & Keil, 1997). The food system, some argue, may be envisioned as a foundational aspect of human social organization (Beardsworth & Keil, 1997). Indeed, it is hard to point to many other consumer products that influence our social lives to the same extent as food (Cronin, McCarthy, & Collins, 2012). It rings true, then, that humans “eat with the mind as much as with the mouth” (Beardsworth & Keil, 1997, p. 52).

Our food habits are social constructions rather than natural phenomena, which makes them amenable to change. While historically food preferences have been viewed as largely impervious to modification, today the speed with which food consumption is shifting is striking (Mennell, 2008). Moving away from a time when vegetarians were seen as mentally ill (Taylor, 2012), modern Western societies with their “menu pluralism” offer especially...

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