Animal Killing and Postdomestic Meat Production

Frederic Leroy, Istvan Praet

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch

23 Citations (Scopus)


The act of animal killing affects the human psyche in manners that are
culturally contingent. Throughout history, societal attitudes towards the taking of
animal lives have mostly been based on deference and/or dominion. Postdomestic societies have evolved in fundamentally different ways. Meat production is abundant yet concealed, animals are categorized and stereotyped, and slaughter has become a highly disquieting activity. Increased awareness of postdomestic meat production systems raises a moral polemic and provokes disgust in some consumer segments. Overall, a heterogeneous set of solutions has emerged to deal with the societal upset and cognitive dissonance caused by animal slaughter. This includes the so-called carnism approach, a rise in animal welfare programs, a market demand for reassuring narratives (‘‘story meat’’), a rehabilitation of the metier of farmers and butchers, crowd butchering, neo-ritualism and home slaughter, the biotechnological exploration of ‘‘cultured meat’’ and ‘‘pain-free meat’’, entomophagy, ‘‘meatless meat’’, and the increasing proliferation of vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)ISSN 1187-7863
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Publication series

NameJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
ISSN (Print)1187-7863


  • Animal welfare
  • Human–animal studies
  • Meat
  • Slaughter
  • Society
  • Veganism
  • Vegetarianism

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