• Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture Issue 23, Marketing Animals, takes a brilliant, in- depth look into the phenomenon of animals used in advertising. From the editor, Giovanni Aloi:
The conspicuous presence of animals in advertising is therefore a phenomenon that deserves study; it is not a new phenomenon in itself but it is one that nonetheless demands renewed attention and scrutiny through a human-animal studies lens. Whether photographed, illustrated, animated or filmed the ambivalent presence of the animal, initially seems to facilitate the delivery of consumeristic messages. However, things are much more complex. What does the animal sell to us and what do we effectively buy through these instances of visual consumption? What role does the animal play in the persuasions processes enacted by advertisements?
• Richard Twine, a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow in the Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow recently pointed me to a few very interesting studies regarding meat and Masculinity. In the University of Chicago Press’ Journal of Consumer Research, researchers looked into the phenomenon of masculinity in association to meat (something we at The Discerning brute have been discussing for a while):
In a number of experiments that looked at metaphors and certain foods, like meat and milk, the authors found that people rated meat as more masculine than vegetables. They also found that meat generated more masculine words when people discussed it, and that people viewed male meat eaters as being more masculine than non-meat eaters. (read the Journal)
Likewise, The American Psycological Association published Real Men Don’t Eat (Vegetable) Quiche: Masculinity and the Justification of Meat Consumptionby Hank Rothgerber. Here is a portion of the abstract:
… Results of a first study showed that male undergraduates used direct strategies to justify eating meat, including endorsing pro-meat attitudes, denying animal suffering, believing that animals are lower in a hierarchy than humans and that it is human fate to eat animals, and providing religious and health justifications for eating animals. Female undergraduates used the more indirect strategies of dissociating animals from food and avoiding thinking about the treatment of animals. A second study found that the use of these male strategies was related to masculinity. In the two studies, male justification strategies were correlated with greater meat consumption, whereas endorsement of female justification strategies was correlated with less meat and more vegetarian consumption. These findings are among the first to empirically verify Adams’s (1990) theory on the sexual politics of meat linking feminism and vegetarianism. They suggest that to simply make an informational appeal about the benefits of a vegetarian diet may ignore a primary reason why men eat meat: It makes them feel like real men. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)