Meet Them at the Plate: Reflections on the Eating of Animals and the Role of Education Therein

Cory Wright-Maley


Using the author’s own struggle to move toward a vegetarian diet as a backdrop, the article focuses in on the implications that one’s disconnection from their food has upon their consumption choices. It aims to illuminate the troubling connection between the consumption of nonhuman animals and structures of violence and domination that pervade human society, and takes aim at the notion that direct action is the best means through which meat consumption may eventually be eliminated. Rather the article contends that the critical animal educator must engage students in inquiry and “empowering discourse” (DeLeon & Love, 2009) at the point where they are likeliest to be able to reflect critically upon the issue; it may be that the most radical approach, if one is to consider actual outcomes, is not direct action, but direct engagement of students in a critical consideration of their diets which may well foster ambivalence, and ultimately, conversion.


Animal Studies; Education Policy; Vegetarianism; Social Studies Education; Democratic Education; Power; Critical Pedagogy; Diet

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education