Women and animals placed in the same ladder of oppression, and women and animals are raped via the male chauvinistic gaze. They still maintain the hierarchical ladder of men as greater than women, animals, nature and queer people. Hence the feminist liberation is not an isolated process; rather it involves the liberation of queer and animals.

Jacques John Joanne 

Okay…!!! We know well how the women are sexualized and objectified as sexual objects in the male chauvinistic advertisements. But there is a separate domain we have to analyze. The sexual objectification of animals and women and the combined representation of women and animals as the objects for eating and sexual gratification is the place where the custom of meat eating and oppression of women and third genders are linked.

Yes…Better than moving in a theoretical way let you glance through these pictures and once you have glimpsed to it in a different way, I bet you can observe how women and animals are objectified and pornographized.

Okay..!! Now I feel you can enter the discussion. As already the works of Carol.J.Adams had brought the connection that lies between the patriarchy and meat eating culture, through her books “sexual politics of meat” and “pornography of meat”, which covered the aspects of the veganism and oppression of women, this essay is an another effort to unify the patriarchal aspect of eating meat and sexual equation involved in this process.

Meat in our culture has several symbolic dimensions.  The psychoanalytic position of eating meat would be very much useful to find, how the sexuality is equated with eating meat.

It is often told that meat is the symbolic of the power and the meat eating people are associated with power, especially males. But do you think is there any logic behind this fact? Absolutely no..!!! Even the digestion process of meat is a very slow and complex process in humans. Our system is well suited for the uptake of the vegetarian foods, but still we have to note, there lays an ongoing debate on this fact.

Okay..!! So what does meat mean? And what does it represent sexually? As you had seen earlier from those pictures, “one which has to be eaten” is equated with seductive and sexy poses, which means “one which has to be sexed”. So, a chicken posing in a seductive way here has two dimensions of meanings. It is an animal and it is compared to women especially. Some of the pictures which depict the animals as men depict the power which males obtain from consuming a piece of meat. Still, that pictures are sexist, because it essentalize the bodies of men and women. A picture of male, one obtain from here represents a muscular male and it is connected that the muscles of the prey makeup the muscle of the men. So it is anti-queer basically. It again and again objectifies the body of men as muscular, and assigning them the term “male”, a perfect male, where the other males, whose body is not muscular, are treated as the sissy, girlish or feminine. So it has the hidden meaning of the transformation of a sissy to an ideal male of society. Many of people, who feel sissy feels that they has to make their physical body as like the ideal male body, and this transformation can make them “manly”, for which the concept of muscle building and meat are essentalized. So, here the advertisement is marked by its homophobic nature and constructing the hegemonious masculinity, which oppresses the queer people.

Okay..!! so what does the other dimension stands for? I mean the equation of the objects to be consumed with objects to be sexed. I could remember some lines from the cine songs, which could empirically relate you this concept.

“kozhi rusiyaa iruntha kozhiya vettu, kumari rusiyaa iruntha kumariya vettu”(“ if chicken is  tasty ate that, else if the young girl is tasty , taste her)

“saapida vaadaa, enna saapida vaadaa”(“ come and eat me man”)..

“sutta paal pola thekam thaandi unaku, athil paalaada konjam mattum velakku”(“hey girl your body is like milk, but the only exception is the layer of butter over it”)

So, these are some of the examples I can quote. Hope readers, can quote tones of descriptions like this. Okay..!!! So, why women are equated with animals? Why eating is equated with sex?

I could refer lacan here. Lacan was a prominent psychoanalyst whose work covered the aspect that the language is essentially phallic, characterized by the division between signifier and signified. But, what is the importance of that lacanian work here?

Yes, in each and every sacrifice the one who is sacrificed is an animal, which is a non-speaking subject. Any subject that is speaking is divided between the signifier-signified, but the animals as we know are not divided between the signifier-signified concepts, which mean they are apart from the human language. More concisely they are away from the language, the phallic function. What is non phallic is the one which is not phallic, which is women, who is assumed to be not divided between the signifier-signified. as animals are non speaking subjects, they are also viewed as non-phallic and the other non-phallic character, the women are found to be in the same plane for a male, who is the one who can be subjected to castration, simply the division between the signifier and signified which constitutes language. Hence the women and animals that are non-phallic, not essentially to be immersed in the sea of phallic is equated and they are compared. Hence unconscious representation of the oedipal wishes of incest is transformed to the plane of eating, where eating is equated with making sex, and hence the non-phallic objects are represented in an interchangeable manner. Simply that means a women becomes a symbol for animal and animal becomes a symbol for women.

But the question of the muscular construction is tied with the mythic father, who breaks incest and he is apart from the law of castration. Which means he can enjoy the incest, which is the core of the Oedipus complex theory of Sigmund Freud? So, what does this mean? In case of the totem meal, which represents the killing of this mythical father by the sons, because the father accounts for this Oedipus complex, by which he never allows the access to incest, the one which has to be sacrificed is selected as an non-speaking subject, which symbolically mean the one who is not divided between the signifier-signified, which is the mythical father. So, after the eating of the meal which is the symbolic of the mythical father, the subjects feels a power that has gained, which means the power against the castration threat. This is meaning of “power“what we frequently hear when a person eats meat, especially a male.


Hence meat eating is a symbol of patriarchy, and the modern advertisements which cover this aspect are again reproducing the structures of the patriarchal culture. Women are looked as animals, reduced to animals, and those aspects maintain the difference of the animals as something “other”, which must be governed and controlled by the man, the phallus and breaking of patriarchy is hence associated with the abolition of meat eating practice.


Moreover this is the aspect that maintains the replication of the structure of speceisism , which want to maintain a hierarchical ladder of men, women, animals and nature. The concept is essentially anti-queer, and the system called the “natural” and “anti-natural” arises from this concept. What is natural is nothing but the nature as defined by the concept of the patriarchal dominant class, which in this era rationalizes the control of animals and nature, destruction of nature, and oppression of women and maintain the role of women as the reproductive buckets , commercially abuses women, animals, people of color, queer people based on the concept of the natural/anti-natural.

Women and animals placed in the same ladder of oppression, and women and animals are raped via the male chauvinistic gaze. They still maintain the hierarchical ladder of men as greater than women, animals, nature and queer people. Hence the feminist liberation is not an isolated process; rather it involves the liberation of queer and animals.


  1. http://web.missouri.edu/~stonej/formulas7.html
  2. http://www.becomingabetterwoman.com/2011/01/objectifying-women-in-media.html
  3. http://genderviolence.tumblr.com/page/2
  4. http://www.foundshit.com/category/ads/page/11/
  5. http://acooboo.com/2010/08/31/big-budgets-and-free-hands-does-that-make-alcohol-ads-so-different/
  6. http://leaflette.org/2011/06/food-drink-funny-advertising/
  7. http://www.triroc.com/xcj/images/slideshow.gif

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  1. sivakumar February 23, 2012 at 11:47 pm Reply

    Great article. Thoughtful !! Here animal liberation which speaks about vegan-ism ? I didn’t get that concept of how women, queer liberation relate with animal liberation ?

  2. jacquesjohnjoanne February 24, 2012 at 1:21 am Reply

    @Sivakumar…ok,thank you..well, the essay covers the aspects of linkage of these issues. women is seen as consumable one in case of sexuality and the dominant male patriarchal systems view meat in two aspects. the consumption is equated with sexing and then the mythical concept that the meat adding “power” to men. a animal is killed and eaten because not to satisy the food needs, but to replicate the old custom of eating meat. a animal is considered lower than humans, which is based on the hierarchial lader men-women-children-animals-nature. moreover as you see in the pictures masculinity is more associated with the consumption of meat and which makes him a male and as like it he consumes women to prove that he is male.

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