Messy Eating (Paperback)
Conversations on Animals as Food
Fordham University Press, 9780823283651, 288pp.
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
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Literature on the ethics and politics of food and that on human-animal relationships have infrequently converged. Representing an initial step toward bridging this divide, Messy Eating features interviews with thirteen prominent and emerging scholars about the connections between their academic work and their approach to consuming animals as food. The collection explores how authors working across a range of perspectives--postcolonial, Indigenous, black, queer, trans, feminist, disability, poststructuralist, posthumanist, and multispecies--weave their theoretical and political orientations with daily, intimate, and visceral practices of food consumption, preparation, and ingestion.Each chapter introduces a scholar for whom the tangled, contradictory character of human-animal relations raises difficult questions about what they eat. Representing a departure from canonical animal rights literature, most authors featured in the collection do not make their food politics or identities explicit in their published work. While some interviewees practice vegetarianism or veganism, and almost all decry the role of industrialized animal agriculture in the environmental crisis, the contributors tend to reject a priori ethical codes and politics grounded in purity, surety, or simplicity. Remarkably free of proscriptions, but attentive to the Eurocentric tendencies of posthumanist animal studies, Messy Eating reveals how dietary habits are unpredictable and dynamic, shaped but not determined by life histories, educational trajectories, disciplinary homes, activist experiences, and intimate relationships. These accessible and engaging conversations offer rare and often surprising insights into pressing social issues through a focus on the mundane--and messy-- interactions that constitute the professional, the political, and the personal. Contributors: Neel Ahuja, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Matthew Calarco, Lauren Corman, Naisargi Dave, Maneesha Deckha, Mar a Elena Garc a, Sharon Holland, Kelly Struthers Montford, H. Peter Steeves, Kim TallBear, Sunaura Taylor, Harlan Weaver, Kari Weil, Cary Wolfe