THE SEXUAL POLITICS OF MEAT: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams

THE SEXUAL POLITICS OF MEAT: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An intelligent polemic by Adams, herself a feminist and vegetarian, who argues that those two positions are necessarily linked--and, by the way, that war and white racism are also of a piece with the oppression of animals and women in our patriarchal society. In the terms and concepts of current discourse, Adams argues that women and animals are ""absent referents"" in the ""patriarchal text,"" that language further distances us from the reality of meat and patriarchal violence, that many feminists fail to recognize the reality behind their metaphoric linkage of butchery and rape, and that ""the codes of the texts of meat must be broken down""--as attempted, for example, by the technique of ""interruption"" in literary works (such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Isabel Colegate's The Shooting Party) that ""bear the vegetarian word."" Like other practitioners of current critical theory, Adams sometimes leads us into ingenious if not far-fetched speculation (""Our experience of meat eating cannot be separated from our feelings about stories""; ""Can it be that literary consciousness is paradigmatic for vegetarian consciousness?"")--and sometimes merely presents familiar simplistic arguments (for example, that humans' teeth, intestines, etc., mark us as herbivores) in a highfalutin context. Still, many of Adams' observations are telling, most are seductively sprung, and, overall, the argument is both thoughtful and thought-provoking--and not without elegance in its construction.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1989
ISBN: 1441173285
Publisher: Continuum