The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

The Sexual Politics of Meat at Towson University

Posted on November 15, 2012 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Whitney Blomquist, VRG Intern

Carol Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat, came to speak at my college, Towson University. I was asked to set up a booth for The Vegetarian Resource Group at the presentation along with four other health and animal rights organizations. I was excited to be able to table for VRG while enjoying Carol’s presentation.

As the room filled up a slide of images began to play on the screen. They depicted the link between women and animals exploitation in advertisements. Each picture showed ads that are used to encourage and condone the consumption of meat. Carol’s presentation was very raw and powerful. Some of the images were disturbing and some were very revealing. Carol goes on to state that her concept of the “absent referent” separates the meat eater from the animal and the animal from the end product. The “absent referent” refers to the issue of advertisements in popular culture sending messages that animals, like women, are nothing more than a piece of “meat.” Rather it be a piece of meat that you eat or one you look at in a sexual sense, the lines have become blurred and society has become accepting of both the demeaning of women and the mistreatment of animals.

Carol did an excellent job presenting her position on the relationship between women and animals and got the crowd surprisingly interested. She was kind enough to answer questions and mingle with everyone after the presentation.

Some long time vegans visited the VRG booth and I had a lengthy conversation with someone who was interested in resources for vegetarians that had began to eat meat again but wanted to become vegetarian again. She mentioned the cost strains of being a vegetarian in college and I shared with her some tips of how I shop inexpensively and prepare quick meals and healthy snacks to get through a busy day of classes.

As Carol said, her book is older than most of the students she shows this presentation to, revealing how pertinent these topics remain.

For more information on The Sexual Politics of Meat, please visit Carol Adams website: http://www.caroljadams.com/

You can purchase The Sexual Politics of Meat here.

To learn more about eating vegetarian/vegan on a budget, please visit:
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2006issue2/vj2006issue2mealplans.htm
http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/11/08/vegetarian-and-vegan-living-in-your-twenties/

2 to “The Sexual Politics of Meat at Towson University”

  1. I think you people had an enlightening experience. Powerful images convey the messages best and Carol did the right thing. Women & animal exploitation needs to be stopped now.

  2. Melanie says:

    Your summary connected some dots for me. People really think of animals as just meat. I know I did, at least with respect to what I was taught were ‘food animals’ as a child. Had people been able to tell me that they had personalities like cats and dogs, and that a well-planned vegetarian [now vegan] diet was actually healthier, I would have made the switch decades earlier.
    I’d love to see more articles in your ‘activism’ category. We can influence others to adopt a more plant-based lifestyle. Even if people take little steps in that direction, that shows a shift in mindset and a shifting in personal values, which are important in the transition to veganism.



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