Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
An activist group have likened eating meat to eating kittens in a new video, suggesting there is no moral difference between the two.
In a fictional video, produced by US organisation Beyond Carnism to mark Zero Emissions Day, a news anchor can be seen explaining that attendees of the “Eco27 summit” were given kitten soup by “renowned climate scientist” Dr. Jay Kumari.
The anchor explains that people were told they were drinking chicken soup, and the clip cuts to attendees looking angry and revolted by the revelation.
You can watch the video below:
Obviously, the clip isn’t real, but it was created to make a point about the way society views animals in different ways.
Beyond Carnism explain that the clip is meant to “expose” why people often avoid discussing animal agriculture when looking at how we can help the climate, despite the fact it is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Carnism is the reason we virtually never ask why we eat some animals but not others, or why we eat any animals,” says Dr. Melanie Joy, social psychologist and founder of Beyond Carnism in the clip.
“This bias gets in the way of our ability to think rationally when determining which protein sources are most sustainable.
“I don’t think it’s actually about the kitten. Kittens are probably easier for Dr. Kumari to obtain. He could have also served puppies or ponies.
“Most people are naturally averse to eating animals,” Dr Joy explains. “The diners’ reaction to eating kitten is their authentic reaction. It’s very likely how they would really feel about eating chicken soup if not for an invisible bias.”
It’s safe to say the video caused a stir when it was posted on YouTube, with some commending the organisation for making a point, whilst others argued it was a step too far.
“I am a vegan but this is such propaganda! Let people choose what they want, don’t try to manipulate with sensationalism and fear,” said one person underneath the vid.
Whilst another wrote: “Wow, what an eye opening video. Clever and well done”.
Beyond Carnism goes into more detail about their argument and their work here.