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FEATURE Carnism - The scientific ideology people use to justify eating meat & how to respond to the argument, "We're supposed to eat meat" WITH SCEINCE!

Let's do this!

Published: 09 Jul 2017 @

No doubt you yourself have been involved in a conversation with a meat eater regarding the choice, and it IS a choice, they make daily to consume animal products such as meat and dairy.

During the discussion, you try to bring their attention to the fact that their actions are morally wrong, which for some reason seems to have absolutely NO merit what so ever. It's as if morals aren't to be applied as a contributing factor when taking the life of an animal.

You are then usually presented with the highly and well thought out response of, "We're supposed to eat meat, it's natural", sound familiar?

This is commonly where we struggle to continue to support our argument. If someone doesn't have the capacity to understand this is wrong on a moral level then what chance do we have of educating them?

None, until now.

Here comes the science

Dr Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M., is a Harvard-educated psychologist, celebrated speaker, organizational consultant, and author of the award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.

She has spent over two decades researching the psychology that enables people to justify their decision to consume meat & dairy products as part of their every day, "normal" life.

Her findings have resulted in the discovery of a belief system that carnivores actually adopt to separate themselves from their morally unjust actions, that applied to another member of the human population would land them in jail. This belief system is called, 'Carnism'.

What is Carnism?

"Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals."

"Because carnism is invisible, people rarely realize that eating animals is a choice, rather than a given."

"Carnism runs counter to core human values, values such as compassion and justice. Most people would not willingly support unnecessary violence toward other sentient beings. Therefore, carnism, like other violent systems, uses a set of defense mechanisms that distort our thoughts and block our natural empathy so that we act against our values without fully realizing what we are doing."

The most important aspect of this belief system is:

"Carnism teaches us how NOT to feel."

So, what does this actually mean?

Carnivores apply this belief system based on three factors which are, the consumption of meat & dairy is "normal, natural, and necessary".

Essentially, they justify consuming meat and dairy based on an ideology they have been born into and taught to believe is "normal". They find it easy to support their own belief purely on the fact that the belief is so wide spread they adopt an, "everyone else does it so it must be right" approach.

They have been conditioned & taught to set aside their own moral standards & empathy when making the decision to consume an animal product which allows them to ignore the fact that taking a life is wrong.

So how do you explain this to a carnivore?

We've put together a strong starting point for the argument in response to any meat eater that simply states that it is "normal" to consume these products.


"You have been born into a belief system that teaches you from a very early age that the consumption of meat & dairy is "normal". It is easy to support this ideology due to it being so wide spread throughout modern culture. However, you are also built on a set of core human values that teaches you not to harm others, as you well know this is morally wrong and you fully understand this concept & live by it every day. Yet when you make the decision to eat meat you separate these core values form your own moral belief system. This enables you to suppress your normal feelings towards violence and the abuse of living beings.

This can be very easily proved.

You think it is OK to eat certain animals and not others, why? It's very simple, you have been taught to perceive certain animals such as cows, chickens & pigs as food and other animals such as dogs, cats, horses as animals that you should care for and not harm. This is a conditional belief system that helps you to apply your moral standards to some beings and not others. It also enables you to suppress any empathy you would normally have for other beings.

Think about how an animal is slaughtered and apply the same methods to a household pet, how is your moral belief system holding up?

This is why you think eating meat & dairy is "normal" when in actual fact if you really think about it, you have been taught to believe this. You have chosen to apply this to certain beings and not others. You have a choice to apply this to ALL living beings."


You are more than welcome to copy and paste this wherever you see fit, you do not need to credit us as the source we just want you to spread it far and wide.

Thank you for reading this article. Let's make a difference!

You can read all about Carnism here

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