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AnimalitiesLiterary and Cultural Studies Beyond the Human$
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Michael Lundblad

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474400022

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474400022.001.0001

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Looking the Beast in the Eye: Re-animating Meat in Nordic and British Food Culture

Looking the Beast in the Eye: Re-animating Meat in Nordic and British Food Culture

(p.168) Chapter 8 Looking the Beast in the Eye: Re-animating Meat in Nordic and British Food Culture

Karen Lykke Syse

Edinburgh University Press

Syse defends Nordic and British chefs, cookbooks, television shows, and food magazines advocating for meat-eaters to face up to the animals that must be killed before they are eaten. Slaughtering one’s own pig and eating all parts of an animal from nose to tail, for example, are put forth as better ways of “respecting” animals, and as a critique of industrial food production and factory farms. In this kind of food culture, looking back nostalgically to times when people were more likely to live on farms and slaughter their own animals is seen as a way of finding “authenticity” in the modern world. This desire to “re-animate” one’s meat can construct traditional forms of masculinity and gender roles, but in Syse’s analysis it is more important to focus on the stated intentions of the chefs and writers at hand, which includes condemning the distance between carnivores and the real lives of the animals they consume.

Keywords:   food culture, “re-animating meat”, animals, industrial food production, nostalgia, authenticity, carnivores

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