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The reintegration of animals and slaughter into discourses of meat eating

  • J. Gutjahr

Abstract

In my paper I analyze, how the slaughter of nonhuman animals is legitimated and framed in recent media discourses on ‘responsible’ meat consumption, and which role these phenomena play concerning ambivalences in the human-animal relationship. In modernity, specific strategies and social techniques have rendered the animals, which are killed within the system of meat production, invisible, and have served to cover up the violence against them. Recently, however, there is a new movement towards re-visualization of animals within the meat-production process. Here, contrary to regular discourses on meat-eating, the animal is very much present, and consumers actively acknowledge the fact, that animals have to be killed for their food. Through analyzing the content of depictions of German media and popular culture dealing with the process of (‘do-it-yourself’) slaughter and ‘responsible’ meat consumption, I will show, that the new visualization of animals and slaughter is embedded in a set of complex and ideological strategies, and that those phenomena can be interpreted as a reaction to current debates on the issues of intensive animal husbandry and meat consumption.

Keywords

meat consumption ‘happy meat’ ambivalences in the human-animal relationship 

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Copyright information

© Wageningen Academic Publishers 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Group for Society and Animals Studies, Institute of SociologyUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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