“We give them life and later we can take it, precisely because in the beginning we gave it. Based on our knowledge of how the story is going to end we interpret its constant references to humans’ will; we allow animals their existence and we being to believe that animals cannot exist autonomously.”
“Meat eaters must assume the role of literary critic, attempting to impose a positive interpretation on what they know to be a tragedy (the tragedy of killing animals), but which they see as a necessary tragedy. They do so by manipulating language and meaning through a code that subjugates animals’ lives to human needs. The story of meat involves re-naming, re-positioning the object, and re-birth.”
“It is obvious what is meant by dismembered animals; that is how we obtain food from them. Dismemberment of texts occurs in many ways in regard to vegetarianism: by ignoring vegetarianism in texts; by failing to provide context or meaning to vegetarianism when it is mentioned; by deeming it inconsequential; and by forcing its meaning to adhere to the dominant discourse of meat.”
“Vegetarianism was an integral part of autonomous female identity. It was de facto a rebellion against dominant culture regardless of whether it was claimed to be a rebellion. ”
“A bird’s body is less transformed by meat eating than that of cows or pigs or lambs. As one Pythagorean commented in 1825: ‘in a bird…you have the perfect frame before you that once contained a breathing life, – the wings with which it [sic] used to fly, the legs for hopping or perching on a tree, and the parts for eating and singing with – the head and the bill. Therefore, in eating a bird, you have the image before you of a once-living creature, and know that you are destroying it, with its functions.’ The resemblance between the live and dead bird challenges the structure of the absent referent, because the living bird’s body continues to be a referent even in death.”
“Vegetarian writers of the past, starting with Plutarch through Percy Shelley to Anna Kingsford and into the twentieth century, were not troubled by the fact that other animals ate meat, they were concerned that humans in eating meat did so in ways very unlike other animals. As we saw in chapter 2, the classing line in the vegetarian body of literature goes something like this: animals do not need to cook their meat before eating it, and they do not need help ripping meat off a bone. If meat eating is natural, why do we not do it naturally, like the animals? Vegetarians did not fear what was natural to humans, they bemoaned the acceptance of an unnatural, and to them, unnecessary practice.”
-Qutoes from Carol Adam’s The Sexual Politics of Meat.