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Talk for Dublin VegFest 2015

How We Grow Up as Animal Loving Animal Users by Dr. Roger Yates.

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Talk for Dublin VegFest 2015

  1. 1. Dr. Roger Yates Dublin VegFest World Vegan Day 2015 *“How we grow up to be animal loving animal users”
  2. 2. *“Roger Yates social construction” http://roger.rbgi.net The Species Barrier - ‘Maintenance’ power point roger.yates@ucd.ie 2
  3. 3. 3 *
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. 5 NORMS & VALUES CULTURE
  6. 6. 6 please draw a farm
  7. 7. 7 NO SLAUGHTERHOUSE TRUCKS
  8. 8. 8 * *Professor of psycholinguistics *interested in the cultural transmission of social values in general and, in particular, what humans tell each other and their children about the moral status of the nonhuman animals. *North America: children are taught - in the home, in school, and from the pulpit – *to be kind to one another, *to be kind to animals, *to abhor cruelty of any sort, *that violence is not the way to resolve conflicts, and *that taking of life is wrong.
  9. 9. 9 • a neatly packaged syllabus of general norms and values destined to “be passed on to the next generation” • the psychological consequences for people whose eventual empirical reality bears little resemblance to what we are taught
  10. 10. 10 Sapon discovered social behaviour that denies, contradicts and “mindlessly violates” the claimed ethical principles Indeed, Sapon argues that it the violations of the syllabus that are frequently relished and admired This “profound discordance” cannot be psychologically beneficial How potentially confusing, Sapon asks, is such a “two-tier value system”?
  11. 11. 11 Sapon argues that dealing with these contradictions requires living in an “atmosphere of scrupulously maintained denial and deception,” in which adults deceive themselves, each other, and their children Turning to how humans and other animals are presented to the young, Sapon says that adults, “typically raise children from birth to five or six years in a kind of fantasy-land of ideal behaviour on the part of the world’s inhabitants.” In this “land of goodness and mercy,” other animals are humanity’s friends – we are theirs too
  12. 12. 12 In…early publications, nonhuman animals are never seen being slaughtered for food, hanging upside down on “kill lines,” nor often shown in pieces on the dinner plate
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  14. 14. 14 What happens when we get older? Sapon argues that many older children are subjected to ‘a behavioural re-conditioning programme’ in order that their perceptions move toward the reality of participation in the ‘denials’ and ‘delusions’ of the adult world (Sapon 1998).
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  16. 16. 16 “The Manual for Desensitising Children to Cruelty and Adapting Them to Live in the Real World” Other animals must be transformed from fantasy figures and playmates into ‘objects of utility’ Sapon argues that adults are consciously aware – “awfully aware” - of the requirement to “reshape children’s perspectives’ in order that they can become “guilt-free carnivores” In the end, humans, as a general matter, deliberately mislead each other about “how meat, fish, poultry, eggs and milk are actually produced for the market”
  17. 17. 17 From a psychoanalytical standpoint, lying to oneself is as understandable as it is common. Knowledge represents power, certainly, but also pain
  18. 18. 18 Carol Adams frequently states: who wants to really know that what they are eating is a dead body? SO, WHAT IS IT “BETTER” FOR US TO “KNOW”?
  19. 19. 19 Farmer Rafferty: “usually a kind man with smiling eyes” Penelope the hen “You look after me, and I’ll look after you”
  20. 20. 20 The cosy consensus is maintained as the entirely free-range hens agree to lay eggs for the farmer, while the ever- smiling cows “let down their milk for him” However, if readers were in any doubt, a few pages on they learn that the human animal is actually a little more equal than the others when Farmer Rafferty loses his temper after finding mice on the farm He asks after the whereabouts of the cat in “a nasty raspy voice” he kept for “special occasions”
  21. 21. 21 What better way to perpetuate the myth of the “happy farm” but with a “happy meal”?
  22. 22. 22
  23. 23. 23 “How we grow up to be animal loving animal users” Thank you

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