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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I hope this is the right place to post this.

We're heading towards our school's yearly speech competition. I'm not saying I have to get into the finals to speak in front of the school, BUT I still want to get a great speech out there to my AP class of about 17 people. I chose carnism because I didn't want to be preachy and further dig veg*ns into a stereotypical hole of weird things people believe to be true for all of us. Carnism affects us all, and it's involves a choice that we make because it's inevitable to be a part of this system.

That being said, it would be spectacular if you guys could throw me some ideas on how to approach this. Obviously my bias will come through, and I'm fine with a bit of that. But for the most part I want to stand in a neutral position that simply exposes the system for what it is--one that ironically thrives off of its invisibility.

I've got my intro, but I have no structure in mind. My goal is to inform what carnism is to, well, carnists. Think of it like telling people what they voted for (that is something you did not vote for), without them even knowing what it was they voted for in the first place. Does that make any sense? It's a touchy subject because it's a topic about awareness and exposure on both a personal AND worldwide level. It has the power to sound fairly neutral, as explained in the AMAZING info site here: http://www.carnism.com/
 

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It's an interesting way to approach the subject. And it does lend itself to a kind of neutrality (if you handle it right) because you can focus on the health and environmental affects that are well documented and yet (as you've noted) are largely invisible to the general population. That kind of terminology also hints at issues in feminism and other progressive movements about visibility, awareness, and privilege. The general thrust of the essay could be about the 1) the lack of a need to eat meat (nutrition) and 2) it's destructiveness (environment). Whether or not you want to get into the moral dimensions of animal exploitation industries is up to you. As far as environmental issues go, I recommend reading "Livestock's Long Shadow", a UN report that outlines the global affects of livestock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Alain! You're right-- it's like how they put it on that site I linked to. Us vegetarians and vegans have names--as do carnists. It's not a carnist's fault that they don't know about this name, but that's how carnism stays strong. In its structural form it manifests itself to the point where we don't question it ("we" being the general carnist popululation. See, I'm trying to be inclusive here! I know I'll get no-where in my speech if I act holier-than-thou). I'm teetering between talking about my personal discovery of how the concept of carnism has helped me as a vegetarian, but I have a feeling no one will understand it. But then if I tell them what it is I have to be gentle on the preach-y-ness. Your suggestions about the pure FACTS are good. I'll let my bias occasionally spot my speech as I go; it's inevitable, because I am against structural carnism (I BELIEVE in it because it does exist, but I work to expose it).
 

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Yeah, it's kind of a beautiful notion to give meat eating a name so it puts it on par with veg*nism as being a choice, rather than the standard, normal thing to do, from which only deviation is visible and suspect. It's always tough to choose how much to rely on provable, discernible facts and more personal or abstract concepts (like morality). The more emotionally involved I am with a subject, the more I find my writing suffers, but ironically it's those subjects which are the most rewarding to my long term, personal/intellectual life.
 

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In your AP class they actually let you write a speech without a point of view? Now that's just lazy teaching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alain -- yes, precisely. :) Emotion can provoke great words, but the system of carnism itself works against veg*ns that way. It's no one's fault, but I gotta tell people that eating meat is a choice, and not one of the three "N"s (natural, normal, necessary).

iWolff -- Oh no, it's not that at all. Because the topic of discussion we choose can be as personal or as random as we want, I figured I might as well choose a topic that will encourage me to do more research AND inform others about a topic that matters to me. But like we all know, people tend to take veg*ns less seriously when we start hinging on our personal, emotional attachment to the situation(s). That's why I'm hoping to approach this from a more NEUTRAL, informative p.o.v. that deals with a system we're ALL involved in. Of course, 6-8 minutes filled with "But I love animals!!1 And you should, too!!1
!?!" can still be informative, I want to take this opportunity to inform a group of people who are forced to listen. . . or at least hear me out. If I want to get anywhere, I'm going to have to nix my sometimes self-righteous tangents and remember that not long ago I was a carnist.
 

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Well, what about carnism do you want to write about? Juggling? Knife throwing? How they manage to cram so many people with such large feet into those tiny cars?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbleforlola View Post

Well, what about carnism do you want to write about? Juggling? Knife throwing? How they manage to cram so many people with such large feet into those tiny cars?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh man. Circuses, God that's just the beginning of it. Maybe I am being too vague, though. Perhaps I mean that I want to write about how structural carnism has manifested and how we continue to thrive in it, and heck-- just what it IS, and the irony of its existence. I really don't know. That's why I'm asking for suggestions! :p
 

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Originally Posted by Winslow View Post

Oh man. Circuses, God that's just the beginning of it. Maybe I am being too vague, though. Perhaps I mean that I want to write about how structural carnism has manifested and how we continue to thrive in it, and heck-- just what it IS, and the irony of its existence. I really don't know. That's why I'm asking for suggestions! :p
I thought carnism was on it's way out? I mean, the popularity of the bearded lady seemed to rise and fall with vaudeville, did it not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Originally Posted by Kibbleforlola View Post

I thought carnism was on it's way out? I mean, the popularity of the bearded lady seemed to rise and fall with vaudeville, did it not?
As long as people are still eating some animals and loving others and not questioning why, I'd still believe that it exists. That site I linked to in my first post, carnism.com, is quite interesting.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winslow View Post

Oh man. Circuses, God that's just the beginning of it. Maybe I am being too vague, though. Perhaps I mean that I want to write about how structural carnism has manifested and how we continue to thrive in it, and heck-- just what it IS, and the irony of its existence. I really don't know. That's why I'm asking for suggestions! :p
you aren't too vague. some people just prefer not to be nice but "funny"

i personally don't know too much about it, i would recomend to read "why we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows", there is a lot about it in this book
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ira -- yes! I actually just ordered it
I'm very excited to read it, but I'm not sure if it will be here on time for me to read it AND use the info to write my speech. I've gotten a good amount of info down, I just need to write my most emotional part (the affects of carnism on life on the planet).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbleforlola View Post

Well, what about carnism do you want to write about? Juggling? Knife throwing? How they manage to cram so many people with such large feet into those tiny cars?
The first time I ever heard the word 'carnism', that's exactly what I thought it was about. I was sitting there for a few moments wondering why on Earth that had anything to do with veganism.


To OP, sorry, I'm of no help, but I wish you the best of luck!
 
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