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Ethical Matters: The Meat Paradox

28th March 2022 · 7:30pm

Main Hall | Virtual event

 Ethical Matters: The Meat Paradox

‘Should we eat animals?’ was, until recently, a question reserved for moral philosophers and an ethically minded minority, but it is now posed on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves, on social media and morning television. The recent surge in popularity for veganism in the UK, Europe and North America has created a rupture in the rites and rituals of meat, challenging the cultural narratives that sustain our omnivory.

Our future diet will be shaped by diverse forces. It will be shaped by novel technologies and the logic of globalisation, by geopolitical tensions and the evolution of cultural preferences, by shocks to the status quo – pandemics and economic strife, the escalation of the climate and ecological crises – and by how we choose to respond. It will also be shaped by our emotions. It will be shaped by the meat paradox.

Rob Percival, an expert in the politics of meat, searches for the evolutionary origins of the meat paradox, asking when our relationship with meat first became emotionally and ethically complicated. Every society must eat, and meat provides an important source of nutrients. But every society is moved by its empathy. We must all find a way of balancing competing and contradictory imperatives. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the origins of our empathy, the psychology of our dietary choices, and anyone who has wondered whether they should or shouldn’t eat meat.

Rob is a writer, campaigner and food policy expert. His commentary on food and farming has featured in the national press and on prime time television, and his writing has been shortlisted for the Guardian’s International Development Journalism Prize and the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Food Sustainability Media Award. He works as Head of Food Policy for the Soil Association. The Meat Paradox is his first book and will be available on the night.

** This event will be held with an in-person audience at Conway Hall *AND* online, via Zoom. Everyone wishing to join this event must register for a ticket in advance, using the “Book Now” link **

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