The University of Winnipeg



Meatsplaining: The Animal Agriculture Industry and the Rhetoric of Denial

New book by Dr. Jason Hannan is a critical analysis of meat industry

Jason Hannan (Photo credit: Rachel Berg)

Dr. Jason Hannan provides a critical analysis of the meat industry in his new book, Meatsplaining: The Animal Agriculture Industry and the Rhetoric of Denial, which published October 1, 2020.

The book provides a critical analysis of how the modern animal agriculture industry, like other profit-driven industries, aggressively seeks to shield itself from public scrutiny, using a distinct set of rhetorical strategies to deflect criticism.

“Meatsplaining: The Animal Agriculture Industry and the Rhetoric of Denial” published October 1, 2020

“The meat industry is responsible for enormous harm to the environment and to public health, and for the indescribable suffering of literally billions of animals each year,” said Hannan.

He began work on the book after noticing a glaring parallel between modern animal agriculture and climate change denialism.

“Both the fossil fuel industry and the meat industry have a discourse, an elaborate PR machinery, for denying their destructive effects, but no one had given a name to meat industry propaganda. So, I coined the term meatsplaining,” he said. 

Contributors include Dr. Anita Krajnc, who was famously arrested in 2016 for feeding water to pigs being transported to a slaughter house and is founder of The Save Movement, and Dr. Margaret Robinson who provides an Indigenous perspective on the meat industry.

The book has received the following endorsements:

  • “Powerful, timely and essential,”said David Nibert, author of Animal Oppression and Human Violence: Domesecration, Capitalism, and Global Conflict
  • Meatsplaining equips us to identify the lies at the heart of animal agriculture. It’s an excellent and timely compilation on an exceedingly vexing problem,” said Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat and Burger
  • Meatsplaining is the first book to give an apt name to the animal agriculture industry’s relentless campaign of disinformation and denialism … Written in a clear, lively, and accessible style, Meatsplaining will surely educate the public about the horrors of animal agriculture,” said Marc Bekoff, author of The Animals’ Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age
  • “Cruelty thrives in secrecy, and the meat industry is highly skilled at concealing the routine abuse and misery that flourishes on modern farms. Meatsplaining cuts through the spin, and exposes the meat industry’s massive PR machine. It explores how Big Meat uses language, obfuscation, and denial to misdirect the public’s attention away from its commodification of sentient animals, environmental devastation, and the looming health crisis caused by eating animals. This book is a must-read for animal advocates, and anyone else who no longer wants to be lied to,” said Camille Labchuk, Executive Director, Animal Justice
  • “This book … provides a necessary corrective to the fantasy world created by meat industry propaganda. As we grapple with a global zoonotic pandemic and biodiversity crisis, it is urgent for us to … start thinking clearly about who and what is on our plates,” said John Sorenson, Brock University.

Meatsplaining is Hannan’s fourth book. He is author of Ethics Under Capital: MacIntyre, Communication, and the Culture Wars (Bloomsbury, 2019), and editor of Philosophical Profiles in  the Theory of Communication (Peter Lang, 2012) and Truth in the Public Sphere (Lexington, 2016).

Hannan is an associate professor in UWinnipeg’s Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications, where he teaches courses in the rhetoric of medicine, rhetoric and pluralism, the rhetoric of animality, and communication theory.

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