Changing the Way We Think About Eating Animals
Dr. Melanie Joy Announces Launch of Groundbreaking Organization
It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the launch of Carnism Awareness and Action Network (CAAN). CAAN’s mission is to raise awareness of and challenge carnism, the invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals, and it will act as a hub of international carnism awareness activity. CAAN is the very first organization to focus exclusively on the psychological and social underpinnings of eating animals, making it a pioneering and landmark institution.
Carnism is a violent, oppressive system that causes widespread animal exploitation as well as human victimization. However, the vast majority of consumers of animals, who care about animals and their own wellbeing, are unaware of the consequences of carnism on themselves and their world. At CAAN, we believe that people need and deserve to know the truth about carnism so they can make their food choices freely – because without awareness, there is no free choice.
We have reason to be extremely optimistic about CAAN’s potential to help bring about powerful and lasting change for all beings, humans and nonhumans alike. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to carnism awareness around the world, and CAAN’s approach to targeting the problem of farmed animal and human exploitation is innovative and unique. CAAN is the first organization to:
- focus on not only the practice of animal agriculture, but on the roots of this practice – the belief system that enables animal agriculture. More specifically, CAAN targets the very foundation of the belief system: the social and psychological defense mechanisms that maintain carnism.
- frame eating animals as not simply a matter of personal ethics, but as the inevitable end result of an oppressive “ism.” Thus, CAAN seeks to demonstrate that eating animals is a social justice issue and to help put the vegan movement on the map of social justice movements.
- focus on not only individual outreach, but on direct institutional change. CAAN is the first organization whose infrastructure is constructed to systematically and strategically target institutionalized oppression, challenging the institutions that validate animal agriculture. CAAN will host and support Carnism Awareness Task Forces (CATFs), groups of professionals working together to raise awareness of and challenge carnism within their fields, thus transforming the system from within.
- provide not only practical and strategic support, but also psychological support to advocates working to transform the system, thus reducing the likelihood of recidivism and burnout among advocates.
If CAAN’s efforts are successful, we will help dramatically change the way society thinks and talks about the issue of eating animals and bring about a powerful shift in public consciousness.
I hope you will take a few moments to peruse our site, which includes resources to educate the public about carnism, materials to help activists spread the word about carnism, information about my international carnism awareness speaking tour, and up-to-date information about the global spread of carnism awareness.
Please help us spread the word about CAAN. Post about CAAN on your social media sites, share this announcement in your organizational newsletters, write about CAAN on your blogs, and forward this email widely.
If you are a media professional, you can be of particular support. Please take a moment to look at our Press page, which offers useful materials for the media, and contact me if you would like to set up an interview about CAAN.
Thank you for all you do to help create a more humane and just society for all beings.
In peace and solidarity,
For a conversation with Dr. Melanie Joy on this blog about her book, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, And Wear Cows, you can click this link.