Beyond Carnism by Melanie Joy
On this blog, I generally focus on health and the science around health and diet for kids. I believe we can change the world by changing the foods we feed our kids. Not only can we ensure that the next generation faces lifelong good health, but in doing so we can also help them grow up to face the world with joy. Part of the joy that comes from eating a healthy diet comes from the attendant good values that come with it. So it is that I wanted to share with you all this TEDx talk by Melanie Joy.
Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M. is a Harvard-educated psychologist, professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, a celebrated speaker, and the author of the award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. Melanie is the eighth recipient of the Institute of Jainology’s Ahimsa Award, which was previously awarded to Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Her work has been featured by numerous national and international media outlets, including the BBC, Germany’s ARD, ABC Australia, the New York Times, and Spiegel Online. Melanie has given her acclaimed carnism presentation on five continents, and she is also the founder and president of the project Karnismus erkennen and of Carnism Awareness & Action Network.
What is Carnism?
Carnism is the name Melanie Joy has given to the belief system that justifies human consumption of animal flesh. This is the belief system most of us have grown up in, which conditions us to think of it as okay, as “normal, natural, and necessary” behavior. And yet, most of us think it is perfectly acceptable to eat a pig or a cow but not our pet dog or cat. So we do not think it is normal to eat any and every animal, just certain ones. Why?
Carnism and Health
The consumption of animals is incontrovertibly detrimental to our health and wellbeing. For children, whose bodies are growing at a rapid rate, it is even more important to eat a healthy diet as the foundation for their futures. Feeding our children meat hurts them. In the words of Melanie Joy:
We pay for our carnism with our health, as eating an animal based diet can lead to serious disease, while eating a plant-based or vegan diet can optimize health.
It is for this reason that I think you will all benefit from watching this video. Older children and teenagers can also benefit. Watch it and then have a discussion about what you have seen – your children may have some very interesting insights! (Please be advised that there are some graphic images in this video that may be unsuitable for younger viewers.)
Beyond carnism and toward rational, authentic food choices by Melanie Joy at TEDxMünchen
Visit Melanie Joy’s Beyond Carnism website to learn more