As Charming as a Pig:The Discursive Construction of the Relationship Between Pigs and Humans

Society and Animals 11 (4):375-392 (2003)
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In the past, pigs were kept near their guardians' homes, ate leftovers from their guardians' kitchens and enjoyed a generally close relationship with humans. The closeness of the relationship, combined with its ultimate end in the killing of the pig, led to a sense of shame . This shame manifested itself in negative expressions about pigs within the English language, which remain to this day. However, the relationship between humans and pigs is becoming increasingly distant, with decisions affecting pigs' lives made in the offices of agricultural industry executives far from the intensive farms on which the pigs live. The new relationship has led to the evolution of a new discourse about pigs, that of the modern pork industry. Because of its technical and scientific nature, this new discourse does not contain the explicit insults of mainstream discourse.Yet, embedded within it are a series of implicit ideological assumptions designed to justify the confinement and exploitation of pigs in high intensity farms. This paper investigates the discourses surrounding pigs in both mainstream culture and the pork industry and discusses attempts to challenge these discourses



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Citations of this work

The epistemology of meat eating.C. E. Abbate - 2021 - Social Epistemology 35 (1):67-84.
An ecolinguistic approach to critical discourse studies.Arran Stibbe - 2014 - Critical Discourse Studies 11 (1):117-128.

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Metaphors we live by.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Mark Johnson.
The social construction of what?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):619-621.

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