Tag Archives: mothering

New Article: Meat, Mothering and Ethical Eating

An article I co-wrote with Kate Cairns on the topic of “meat and mothering” has been published by Agriculture and Human Values. Vol 35: 569-580. It can be downloaded for free directly from the journal (until mid-Sept) at this link:  http://www.springer.com/home?SGWID=0-0-1003-0-0&aqId=3451768&download=1&checkval=5899818bb273e12fee5729813ec2bc4b

In the article, we question the idea that “more consumer knowledge” will necessarily lead to altered, and more ethical food practices. Mothers are put in a difficult position in relation to children’s’ meat consumption: they feel pressure to teach kids where food comes from, but they also want to protect children from some of the harsh truths of animal slaughter.

brown wooden chopping board with meat on top

Photo by Fábio Bueno on Pexels.com

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New Article in Ag & Human Values: Meat and Mothering

When Kate Cairns and I first worked on the topic of Food and Femininity, we didn’t anticipate that the topic of meat would hold such an important, but contradictory place in everyday foodwork. People worry about meat — where it comes from, whether it is safe to eat, how the animals were treated, and if they should teach kids about where meat comes from.

In this article in Agriculture and Human Values,  we draw from qualitative data collected with Toronto mothers to explore how meat figures into foodwork and childrearing. We identify a central paradox surrounding meat consumption. On the one hand, good mothers are expected to teach kids where food comes from, a perspective strongly informed by ethical consumption discourse. On the other hand, good mothers are expected to protect children from the harsh realities of modern life — realities like slaughterhouses, factory farms, and eating animals. This paradox is not easily resolved, and can force mothers to confront some of the visceral discomforts of eating meat, especially in settings that are far-removed from the lives and deaths of animals. More generally, this articles speaks to the idea that food habits are not just about knowing (e.g., knowing the backstory of your meal), but also involve care, concern, and discordant emotions.

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Read more: “On (not) knowing where you food comes from: meat, mothering and ethical eating”, Kate Cairns and Josée Johnston. Agriculture and Human Values. Published online 24 January 2018.