Melanie Joy



Friday, August 26th, 2011 – 7:30 pm

DR. MELANIE JOY

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism

In “Why We Love Dogs…” social psychologist Melanie Joy explains carnism, the invisible belief system that shapes our perception of the meat we eat, so that we love some animals and eat others without knowing why.  Joy, a longtime activist for social and environmental justice and animal welfare, explains how carnism, like other unjust ideologies, is sustained by complex, hidden social and psychological mechanisms, and it is most harmful when unrecognized.   Using powerful imagery, thought-provoking analyses, and a compelling narrative, Joy elucidates how, although unjust ideologies all are unique, the mentality that enables such interlocking systems is strikingly similar. When unnoticed, these ideologies can cause us to act against our core values and interests, to sustain socially and ecologically unjust systems.  By illuminating the invisible mechanisms of carnism, Joy seeks to help viewers become more empowered citizens, informed consumers, and active social witnesses.

Dr. Joy is a Harvard-educated psychologist, personal/relationship coach, and professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  She has written a number of articles on psychology, animal protection, and social justice, which have been published in a variety of journals and magazines.  She is the leading researcher on carnism, the psychology of eating meat, and she has been interviewed for numerous magazines, books, and radio on her work, including the BBC, NPR, PBS, and ABC Australia.

Dr. Joy is also the author of Strategic Action for Animals.   Though much of Dr. Joy’s writing focuses on animal protection, she is also a longtime human rights advocate and has been active in a number of social justice movements.   She teaches courses which focus on systems of privilege and oppression (examining racism, heterosexism, ageism, genderism, ableism, patriarchy, and neocolonialism), feminist psychology, domestic violence, and psychological trauma.

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