Evans A B, Miele M, 2012, "Between food and flesh: how animals are made to matter (and not matter) within food consumption practices" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 30(2) 298 – 314
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Between food and flesh: how animals are made to matter (and not matter) within food consumption practices
Adrian B Evans, Mara Miele
Received 18 July 2010; in revised form 14 June 2011; published online 14 December 2011
Abstract. Contemporary European consumers find themselves at an interesting point in history with regards to their relationships with animals. On the one hand there has been a growth in the acknowledgement of animal sentience, yet on the other hand, largely unabated, we continue to farm, kill, and eat animals for food. In this paper we contend that these ambiguities are played out within everyday embodied practices of preparing, eating, and shopping for food. We begin our account by outlining a novel performative approach to food consumption practices, which we have termed ‘foodsensing’, and we contend that every act of sensing food is always already an act of making sense of food. This approach allows us to examine the complex interplay between material and symbolic dimensions of food consumption practices. Throughout the paper we draw on this notion of foodsensing, in conjunction with empirical material taken from forty-eight focus group discussions conducted across seven European countries, to shed new light on the ways in which farm animals are made to matter (and not matter) within food consumption practices.
Keywords: animal welfare, food consumption, embodied practices, relational ethics
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