Why do humans eat meat?

Dr. Melanie Joy believes humans eat meat due to the long-engrained ideology of carnism:

“Carnism is a dominant ideology, which means it’s embedded deeply in society to the point that it’s considered ‘just the way things are,’”

“But just because something isn’t recognized or is viewed as ‘how things are’ doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Racism wasn’t recognized as a problem or ideology at a point in history but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. It [carnism] has just been around for so long that it’s taken for granted.”

I usually do not write articles dealing with food choices (first of all my own): I think they are very personal arguments and proselytizing in this field is extremely complicated and delicate.

However, this video of Dr. Joy is really well done, despite talking about extremely controversial concepts:


[…]pigs are at least as intelligent as three-year-old humans. Cows develop deep and lasting bonds with their family and friends. For instance, they may cry and keen for weeks when their babies are forcibly taken from them.

Chickens are able to distinguish between 100 different faces of members of their species, and they have 30 different calls to signal types of threats. And scientists have demonstrated that certain fish and crustaceans have intelligence and pain receptors, such that in some places in the world it is now illegal to keep fish in small bowls or to boil lobsters alive.

And although we don’t see the factories in which animals are turned into food, these so-called farms produce approximately 98% of the meat, eggs, and dairy we eat. In fact 124,000 farmed animals are slaughtered globally not every day, or even every hour, but every, single, minute.

Melanie Joy

Melanie Joy is an American social psychologist and vegan activist, primarily notable for promulgating the term carnism.

She is a professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, as well as the president of Beyond Carnism, also known as Carnism Awareness & Action Network (CAAN), a non-profit advocacy group which she founded in 2010.