Melanie Joy, an American social psychologist, wrote a book titled Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism in 2009 that explores the psychology and underlying philosophy of meat consumption, or “carnism.”  The term “carnism” was created by Joy in 2001, and she expanded on it in her doctoral dissertation in 2003.   Carnism is a subset of speciesism,: 912 and it is opposed to ethical veganism, which is the moral commitment to refrain from using or ingesting meat and other animal products. Publisher Red Wheel released an anniversary edition of the book in 2020. 
Why Do We Love Dogs Who Wear Cows and Eat Pigs?
We love dogs and eat cows because of how we perceive them, not because dogs and cows are essentially different (cows, like dogs, have feelings, desires, and consciousness).
We eat cows, but not dogs, so why?
In Western civilization, the majority of people have no issue consuming cows, pigs, and chickens. However, humans usually find it repulsive to think about eating dogs. Why do we distinguish between “animals for eating” and “animals not for eating” in our minds?
The “horsemeat scandal” has engulfed Europe over the last two months. In the Netherlands, horsemeat has been discovered in products like the Swedish meatballs from Ikea and the “beef” lasagna from Euroshopper. Perhaps typical of the Dutch, the prevailing attitude was pragmatism rather than shock ” (“Oh well, meat is meat I guess…).
If dog meat had been found in our Swedish meatballs, the reaction would very likely have been very different. The majority of individuals in Western culture find the concept of eating dogs repulsive. However, why do humans mentally distinguish between “animals for eating” and “animals not for eating”?
In her best-selling book Why people love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows, Dr. Melanie Joy examines the psychological reasons underlying “carnism,” the belief that eating particular animals is morally and appropriately acceptable. The book opens with a question for reflection:
Consider being at a dinner gathering with friends, savoring a mouthwatering stew of meat. Your acquaintance responds as follows when you ask for the recipe: “You start with five pounds of well-marinated golden retriever meat, and then…
As you take in the information that the meal you are eating comes from a dog, you might stop mid-bite. Would you shrug and eat the rest of your meal? Or would you be so repulsed that you lost all desire to eat, feeling as though the vegetables around the meat were ‘tainted’?
One significant psychological factor influencing the choice to consume particular animals is the sensation of disgust. In actuality, one of the fundamental moral feelings is revulsion. Dr. Joy claims that generally speaking, the more compassion you have for an animal, the more repulsed you are by the thought of consuming it. Because most people have greater compassion for dogs than for cows, we are more repulsed by the thought of eating dogs.
Anecdotal and empirical evidence from vegetarians supports the idea that empathy affects food choices through revulsion. One vegetarian acquaintance of mine said that she found the idea of eating dogs to be just as repulsive as eating cows, and even more repulsive than eating human flesh. An empirical investigation also revealed that vegans have higher levels of revulsion for meat. Could empathy play a role in mediating the gap between omnivores and vegetarians’ degrees of disgust?
According to an fMRI study, vegetarians and omnivores differ from one another in terms of empathy. The brain regions associated with empathy were more active in vegetarians when they witnessed both animal and human suffering. Interestingly, vegetarians showed even greater concern for animal suffering than for human pain. Additionally, vegetarians performed better on a test of empathy.
The relationship between disgust and empathy in terms of food preferences has not yet been studied. Thus, it is unclear why vegetarians find the prospect of eating cows repugnant but omnivores do not, even though the aforementioned data implies empathy plays a part. This would imply that organizations working to reduce meat consumption would be wise to concentrate their efforts on raising awareness of the plight of farm animals.
Why do we consume some creatures but not others?
Have you ever pondered why humans treat some animals as companions while treating others as food or a commodity? Dogs and cats, for instance, are regarded as family members, yet humans kill and consume cows and pigs. We don’t give cows, fowl, or pigs much thought before they end up on our plates because we believe there is a difference between the animals we love and the ones we eat.
Melanie Joy, a psychologist, examines in her TED talk the reasons why we find the idea of eating a Golden Retriever repulsive but cheerfully eat beef, pork, and chicken. Although we believe that eating meat from farmed animals is okay despite the fact that all animals are sentient creatures, “We never think twice about our decision to mass-kill and eat them since it is normal, natural, and necessary.
By examining how society has normalized eating meat, Joy argues that we may all choose to distance ourselves from this suffering, but knowledge is the first step. When we carefully and critically consider the roles we have given farmed animals in comparison to our pets, we are able to look past the constructs of “carnism and work toward a future filled with compassion.
What makes cows adore dogs?
Dogs are adapted to life on a farm for biological reasons. The genomes of dogs have changed in tandem with their ability to coexist with humans and work on farms. It has been determined that modern dogs have more genomes that enable the dog to digest starch when their genomes are compared to DNA samples for archaeological discoveries of dog bones. Dogs’ capacity for starch consumption is a sign that they have adapted to coexist with humans on farms.
There is a biological benefit to the friendship that develops between dairy cows and dogs when they are around. A potent hormone in nursing moms, oxytocin is. It’s referred to as the “love hormone.” When cows’ oxytocin levels are high and your dog is nearby, it’s possible that the cow will be more likely to “love” your dog. When human moms give birth to a child, the hormone oxytocin’s effect on connections is also visible.
The harmony between cows and dogs in the home can be explained behaviorally as well. The animals develop positive associations with being with one another when they engage with one another under the owner’s supervision and receive treats, pleasant massages, and food. Positive interactions are primarily learned under close observation.
Why are pigs the only animal we eat?
In a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, six-year-old Calvin asks his mother, while biting into a hamburger, “Is hamburger meat created out of people from Hamburg? Of course not,” she responds. It’s beef ground up. I’m eating a cow?, Calvin asks incredulously as he examines his burger. I doubt my ability to complete this.
The majority of humans carelessly devour all manner of sentient animals, in contrast to the animal-loving Calvin who immediately focuses on the ethical dilemma of eating meat. So why are so many people okay with using pigs and cows as main foods yet horrified by the idea of eating dogs? (Although eating dog meat is still permitted in China, the practice has recently drawn harsh condemnation.) Many would argue that this is because dogs are man’s best friend and that greasy foods like juicy burgers and sizzling bacon taste divine.
Putting aside domestication and taste preferences, pigs are more intelligent than dogs. Additionally, cows are clever creatures with superb long-term memories who form friendships, harbor resentments, and even grieve the loss of loved ones.
Why then do we arbitrary draw a line in the sand for morality? Why do we eat some animals while we adore others? A recent study found that our own capacities for denial play a big role in creating this moral paradox.
The meat paradox
The psychologists Jared Piazza at Lancaster University and Steve Loughnan at the University of Edinburgh questioned a group of meat eaters about their dietary habits for the study conducted in the UK and published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, using the intelligence of the animals they eat as the determining factor.
Piazza and Loughnan began by presenting participants to a hypothetical species from another planet in order to demonstrate that people do, in fact, prioritize intelligence when making food decisions. In sum, 93.5% of respondents indicated they would not eat an animal if it displayed traits associated with high intellect, but just 60.7% said they would oppose eating an intelligent animal. For mankind, a point.
Sadly, the study’s most telling component occurred when the same individuals were asked to judge the “the ethical standing of pigs and tapirs, which both had comparable levels of intelligence to the fictitious species. Pigs often scored lower than the other two animals in all categories.
The authors came to the conclusion that people only really regard an animal’s intelligence in a situation when it is not threatened “motivated way, i.e., when it’s convenient for them. This is not always a groundbreaking discovery. To avoid the mental strain of cognitive dissonance, people are psychologically capable of adopting two or more perspectives that are opposed to their beliefs or value systems. Loughnan invented the phrase “eating animals” to describe the challenging topic “pork conundrum.
“Jesse Singal described the act of causing cognitive dissonance in reference to the study in New York Magazine. We acquire a moral belief for whatever reason, and then build a rationale around it, like some attractive but frail facade.
We also frequently justify our moral choices regarding meat consumption using arguments that go beyond intelligence. The four Ns are what researchers refer to them as.
- This is simply how nature functions.
- Given that it is such a common practice in our society, how can it be wrong?
- We must consume meat to stay healthy.
- Just how fantastic does it taste?
If these responses reveal anything, it’s that people are content with the status quo. Beyond the moral issue, the climatic problem is another pressing reason why mankind needs to start seriously reconsidering its callous behavior.
The exponential increase in demand for meat in countries like China, according to a key research published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year, will eventually push the world temperature over the dreaded two-degree Celsius threshold. Or, as it is stated in a research by the London-based think tank Chatham House: Meat consumption will have increased by 75% by 2050, and the whole global carbon budget will be used to produce it. The study comes to the conclusion that “a change in global meat and dairy intake is likely required to keep temperature increases below two degrees Celsius.
“I prefer to inquire about who is coming over what is for dinner. stated Marc Bekoff, author of Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence and professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado.
Bekoff’s query aims to bring people’s attention to the truth about the food on their dinner plates: that steak was once a unique living human, someone with genuine emotions and a distinct personality. It can sound unusual to speak to meat with a pronoun. It offers some relief from the problem Piazza and Loughnan’s investigation uncovered.
Bekoff prefers to refer to this group of people as Homo denialus. If you enjoy eating meat (as I do), you might take some solace in the fact that there is now at least a taxonomy. Recognizing this is an excellent place to start. The following action is to deal with the issue. Here comes the leader of the Reducetarian movement, Brian Kateman.
According to Kateman, many meat eaters who have developed a conscience want to make a difference but are unable or unwilling to become vegans or vegetarians. Kateman believed there needs to be a way to meet people halfway since she recognized the challenges people confront when trying to change their “entire paradigm.” As a result, he developed the idea of the reducetarian, a person who has made the decision to “deliberately decrease his or her consumption of meat.
How may one adopt a reducetarian stance? Simple, really. You can join the movement, which has gained popularity thanks to the Vegetarian Monday campaign, by eating only one meatless meal per day or per week. We need to reach people with a message that won’t terrify or intimidate them, according to Kateman, who thinks that by fostering a good environment that accepts the truth of our flaws and promotes moral compromise, society may gradually make a significant improvement.
Piazza, a psychologist, has reached a similar conclusion. If self-persuasion can be used to assist people overcome their propensity to react defensively to knowledge about animals they consume as meat, that is one potential approach I am currently studying in my lab, he said. He thinks there is a better likelihood that individuals will eventually adopt a meat-free diet into their lifestyle if they are given the opportunity to become comfortable with the idea of eating less meat themselves rather than being instructed to do so.
The results thus far seem encouraging, but much work remains, he said. Denial is after all one of the most effective strategies people have for supporting or rejecting just about everything, including denial. Bill Watterson, creator of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, once said, “It’s not denial.” “I merely choose which realities to accept.
Why do we adore canines?
Dogs are forgiving and sympathetic creatures who never harbor grudges. A dog is constantly in the present, no matter what they are doing. Your dog is a better person than most humans, if you observe him throughout the day.
Which nations consume dogs?
The percentages are approximations based on adult US recommendations. Yong-Geun Ann (1999) is the source.
The flesh and other edible components of dogs are known as “dog meat.” Dog meat consumption by humans has been documented throughout history in numerous nations.  Mountainmen, Native Americans, the U.S. Army, and the Confederacy during the American Civil War sometimes had to survive on dogmeat during the 19th-century westward advance in the United States; first to be consumed would be the horses, followed by the mules, and then the dogs. Dog meat is consumed in the 21st century in South Korea, China, Nigeria, Switzerland, Vietnam, and other nations throughout the world where it is allowed to do so. Dog meat intake is prohibited in certain societies, even those where it has historically been practiced, while in others it is seen as a traditional, ritualistic, or everyday part of the diet. In addition, opinions greatly fluctuate amongst regions of various nations.   In 2014, it was calculated that people consumed 27 million dogs worldwide.