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Carol J. Adams

Carol J. Adams
'Beyond Neither Man Nor Beast

'Animals and Women 'Woman-Battering 'Violence

About Carol J. Adams

Carol J. Adams is the author of the pioneering The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory and the recently released, The Pornography of Meat. Carol's work is widely cited, anthologized and used as a text in college courses in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Choice says of her work, "Adams's thinking is brilliant and original." Her work is featured in an award-winning documentary, A Cow at My Table. A rock group, Consolidated, devoted one track of their CD Friendly Fascism to The Sexual Politics of Meat.

Carol J. Adams has been an activist on antiviolence issues since the 1970s. After receiving her Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School in 1976, she and her partner started a Hotline for Battered Women in Chautauqua County, New York, housing it in their home for the first year and a half of its existence. During that time Carol was the Executive Director of the Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Inc., in Dunkirk, New York, an advocacy and service not-for-profit agency addressing issues of poverty, racism, and sexism. During the next decade, among other things, she served as Chairperson of the Housing Committee of the New York Governor's Commission on Domestic Violence (1984-87); coordinated a challenge to a local radio station license because of its racism, misrepresentation, and disregard of FCC rules (this resulted in the first revocation of a radio station license brought about by a community group during the Reagan years), co-ordinated a suit against a city for racism in its housing practices, and began writing what became The Sexual Politics of Meat.

Since 1987, Carol has lived in the Dallas area. Periodically she teaches a course on "Sexual and Domestic Violence: Theological and Pastoral Concerns" at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Carol has published close to 100 articles in journals, books, and magazines on the issues of vegetarianism, animal advocacy, domestic violence and sexual abuse. In addition, she has contributed entries on "vegetarianism" for numerous academic encyclopedias and dictionaries. She is particularly interested in the interconnections among forms of violence against human and nonhuman animals, writing, for instance, about why woman-batterers harm animals and the implications of this (see Animals and Women). Her article, "Bringing Peace Home: A Feminist Philosophical Perspective on the Abuse of Women, Children, and Pet Animals," represents her approach to these interconnections. (It's in her book Neither Man nor Beast). "Carol has worked to bring back into print Howard Williams's nineteenth-century classic text on vegetarianism, The Ethics of Diet." "Finally, she has contributed prefaces to important vegetarian, vegan, and animal defense books such as Joanne Stepaniak's The Vegan Sourcebook, Richard Alan Young's Is God a Vegetarian? Steve Baker's Picturing the Beast: Animals, Identity, Representation, and Joan Dunayer's Animal Equality: Language and Liberation."

Recently she received awards from The Greater Dallas Coalition for Reproductive Freedom and Planned Parenthood of Dallas and North Texas, "for her help in understanding the psychology of the radical right, for her commitment to women and for her brave stance against the tyranny of Operation Rescue."

Carol is a dynamic and provocative speaker, providing keynote addresses on topics such as "Violence Against Women, Children, and Animals: Understanding the Connections," "An Ecofeminist Analysis of Violence in the Home," and her extremely popular Sexual Politics of Meat Slide Show.

She has been a speaker at various colleges and universities including Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Columbia, CalTech, the University of Pittsburgh, University of Cincinnati, Smith College, University of Michigan, Skidmore College, Ohio University, Kent State University, Denison College, Southern Methodist University, Oberlin College, Cornell University, Kent State, and Virginia Tech.

Carol practices yoga, meditation, and enjoys cooking vegan meals. Recently she has turned her attention in her writings to the deeply spiritual nature of being a vegan.

Contact Carol at



Carol explains the Absent Referent Trilogy:

At the end of my first year of Yale Divinity School, I returned home to the small town where I had grown up. As I was unpacking I heard a furious knocking at the door. An agitated neighbor greeted me as I opened the door. "Someone has just shot your horse!" he exclaimed. Thus began my political and spiritual journey toward including animals in my theory and my practice. It did not require that I travel outside this small village of my childhood--though I have; it involved running up to the back pasture behind our barn, and encountering the dead body of a pony I had loved. That evening, still distraught about my pony's death, I bit into a hamburger and stopped in midbite. I was thinking about one dead animal yet eating another dead animal. What was the difference between this dead cow and the dead pony whom I would be burying the next day? I could summon no ethical defense for a favoritism that would exclude the cow from my concern because I had not known her. A year later, I became a vegetarian.

Later, as I began to work on my first book I was struggling to find a way to explain why people eat animals and why it is so difficult to discuss the issue. I realized that it was because of what I call the structure of the absent referent: Behind every meal of meat is an absence: the death of the animal whose place the meat takes. The "absent referent" is that which separates the meat eater from the animal and the animal from the end product. The function of the absent referent is to keep our "meat" separated from any idea that she or he was once an animal, to keep something from being seen as having been someone.

Many of my books arise from this insight about the absent referent. The Sexual Politics of Meat introduces and explains the structure of the absent referent. If you are interested in a political, feminist, or theoretical analysis of vegetarianism, this book provides it. Yes, it makes startling and controversial claims--but for many it was the first book they encountered that made the connections between sexism, racism, classism, homophobia and animal advocacy. "Now The Pornography of Meat further extends this analysis by illustrating the precise relationship between the structure of the absent referent and inequality. From the rise of chain steakhouses to the language of the hunt, from the halls of government to the practice of artificial insemination on farm animals, The Pornography of Meat shows exactly how harm to others parades as fun."

The Inner Art of Vegetarianism series is for you if you wish to engage with vegetarianism from a spiritual perspective, whether you are or are not a vegetarian. If you are not a vegetarian, they offer a gentle, non-forced way of becoming a vegetarian--"Growing Vegetarian Roots." And if you are, they offer exercises and meditations to deepen one's sense of spirituality and connectedness. In one sense, The Inner Art of Vegetarianism series provides insight into how to go about restoring the absent referent. This book makes a perfect gift for friends who are interested in or committed to spirituality, yet haven't found a way to become vegetarian (even though you may have provided them with numerous reasons to do so!).

Living Among Meat Eaters, is a survival guide for vegetarians. People who haven't restored the absent referent (i.e., people who still eat dead animals) must deal with many feelings when they are reminded of what they are doing. I propose that vegetarians and vegans should view meat eaters as blocked vegetarians. Just by being a vegetarian you remind meat eaters that they are blocked. Living Among Meat eaters provides suggestions for talking, eating, living with and cooking for meat eaters. Michael Gregor, in a review for Vegan Outreach wrote, "Ten years in the making, Living among Meat Eaters is a truly monumental work....Our movement sadly lacks theorists. Carol Adams is one of our brilliant exceptions....Living among Meat Eaters is frankly entertaining - in some parts literally laugh-out-loud funny. This is the book we've been waiting for to finally make sense of all the hostility."


The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory

The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory explores a relationship between patriarchal values and meat eating by interweaving the insights of feminism, vegetarianism, animal defense, and literary theory. A pioneering book, it is now available Tenth Anniversary Edition. When it first appeared in 1990, Library Journal called The Sexual Politics of Meat "an important and provocative work" and predicted it would "inspire and enrage readers across the political spectrum." True to Library Journal's prediction, the book was hailed by CHOICE as a ""bible' for feminist and progressive animal rights activists" and equally reviled by conservative commentators, including Rush Limbaugh, John Leo, and Cal Thomas as an example of political correctness taken to excess.

The appearance of The Sexual Politics of Meat triggered dramatic international media coverage of the book. Polity Press in the United Kingdom immediately issued a British Edition. Full page articles appeared in Australian and Dutch newspapers; reviews appeared in Italy and Norway as well as in Great Britain and the United States. The Kirkus Review concluded that it was "an intelligent polemic...Adams's observations are telling, most are seductively sprung...the argument is both thoughtful and thought-provoking." Publisher's Weekly observed that "Carol J. Adams's original, provocative book makes a major contribution to the debate on animal rights."

The Sexual Politics of Meat has been translated into Japanese and German. It is published by Continuum International.

In response to the ideas in The Sexual Politics of Meat, readers from all over the continent sent Adams examples that they felt proved her point. She has culled from these menus, advertisements, pictures of billboards, matchcovers, t-shirts to create a Sexual Politics of Meat slide show. Some of these images are reproduced in the Tenth Anniversary Edition, which also features a new preface from Carol explaining how the book came about, and how the sexual politics of meat is at work at the turn of the millenium.

CLICK HERE to see view the table of contents for The Sexual Politics of Meat.


The Sexual Politics of Meat

"A clearheaded scholar joins the ideas of two movements--vegetarianism and feminism--and turns them into a single coherent and moral theory. Her argument is rational and persuasive....New ground--whole acres of it--is broken by Adams

--Washington Post Book World

An important and provocative work...the author provides a compelling case for inextricably linking feminist and vegetarian theory. This book is likely to both inspire and enrage readers across the political spectrum"

--Library Journal

An intelligent polemic...Adams's observations are telling, most are seductively sprung...the argument is both thoughtful and thought-provoking."

-- The Kirkus Reviews

"Carol J. Adams's original, provocative book makes a major contribution to the debate on animal rights."

--Publisher's Weekly

"The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams examines the historical, gender, race, and class implications of meat culture, and makes the links between the practice of butchering/eating animals and the maintenance of male dominance. Read this powerful new book and you may well become a vegetarian."

--Ms. Magazine

"Depiction of animal exploitation as one manifestation of a brutal patriarchal culture has been explored in two books by Carol J. Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat and Neither Man nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals. Adams argues that factory farming is part of a whole culture of oppression and institutionalized violence. The treatment of animals as objects is parallel to and associated with patriarchal society's objectification of women, blacks and other minorities in order to routinely exploit them. Adams excels in constructing unexpected juxtapositions by using the language of one kind of relationship to illuminate another. Employing poetic rather than rhetorical techniques, Adams makes powerful connections that encourage readers to draw their own conclusions."


"With this bold and provocative book, a powerful champion of animal rights has entered the lists, challenging the patriarchal domination of the Western world's eating habits."

--National Women's Studies Association Journal

"The Sexual Politics of Meat couldn't be more timely, or more disturbing."

--Environmental Ethics


The Sexual Politics of Meat Slide Show

slide show

An evolving 1 and 1/4 hour dynamic and challenging presentation that discusses the images of women and animals in contemporary popular culture by drawing upon the ideas found in The Sexual Politics of Meat and Neither Man nor Beast. It introduces the concept of the absent referent through autobiography and then systematically applies an analysis of how it functions to explain the animalizing of women in contemporary cultural images and the sexualizing of animals used for food. It draws upon images that have been sent from around the world and is constantly being updated as it tracks changes in popular culture.

The Slide Show provides an ecofeminist analysis of the interconnected oppressions of sexism, racism, and speciesism by exploring the way popular culture presents images of race, gender, and species to further oppressive attitudes. It also suggests forms of resistance against the construction of individuals, human or non-human, as "meat."

Drawing upon images from popular culture, it answers the question: how does someone become a piece of meat? The slide show demonstrates how a trinity of interrelated forces--objectification, fragmentation, and consumption--impact our cultural and personal consciousness about women and animals.

The Sexual Politics of Meat Slide Show has been presented on campuses across the country. From Oregon to Maine, from experimental schools to universities with slaughterhouses on their campus, the slide show attracts a diverse audience and prompts spirited discussions.

Student's comments on the Sexual Politics of Meat Slide Show

"[I] liked the fact that [Adams] discussed the connections not only between feminism and vegetarianism, but also between racism, homophobia, and anthropocentrism."

--Student at the University of Rochester, quoted in the Campus Times

"I think Carol Adams is a phenomenal speaker...I think she says lots of relevant things that concern all people, not only vegetarians."

--Student at University of North Texas, quoted in the NT Daily

"A lot of the analogies she made...they seem like things that were always out there we just never connected them in our minds."

--Student at the University of Michigan, quoted in the Michigan Daily.

Among the issues the slide show addresses are:

  • Sexualized fragmentation. Fragmented body parts of animals who will be eaten depicted in such a way that thoughts of women as sex objects are clearly evoked as well. Breast and thighs advertised on menus, as well as specific examples like "We serve the best legs in town," draw upon the patriarchal fixation on women's bodyparts.
  • Animals feminized/sexualized. Animals presented in poses and clothes human females are represented in our culture (svelte legs, a "chick" in high heels, often animals posed like women, animals who are four-legged made to appear both "sexy" and bipedal, animals in bikinis). "I ate a pig..." Exactly who are they referring to?
  • Back-entry shots of both animals and women. In pornography, back entry shots are constructed to convey both women's accessibility and imputes to them an "animal-like" nature, that is, "animal-like" in a speciesist culture, a view that sees women as desiring being sodomized; sometimes animals who are seen as consumable are positioned that way as an invitation to consumption.
  • Connecting flesh eating and other forms of animal oppression to prostitution and pornography ("strip", "buck-naked", "Live Nude Lobsters!", and the "Happy Hooker," etc.).

In all of this, we encounter the underlying hostility to women that is conveyed, through the supposed neutral medium of meat eating. The connections--and images--are everywhere. Through the sexual politics of meat, consuming images such as these provide a way for our culture to talk openly about and joke about the objectification of women without having to acknowledge that this is what they are doing. These issues are "in our face" all the time. We do not perceive them as problematic because we are so used to having our dominant culture mirror these attitudes. We become shaped by and participants in the structure of the absent referent.

What you can do:

    Carol's mail, small image
    Carol's mail
  • Book the slide show at your college or university, or work with your local institution of higher education to bring it to campus. Contact me at
  • Send me examples of the sexual politics of meat that you encounter on billboards, advertisements, menu's, articles, matchbook covers, etc.! You can send hard copies to me care of my publisher, Continuum International, 370 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1700, New York, New York 10017-6503..

  • CLICK HERE to see where the slide show has been shown.


    The Pornography of Meat

    How does someone become a piece of meat?

    Carol J. Adams answers this question in this provocative book by finding hidden meanings in the culture around us. From advertisements to T-shirts, from billboards to menus, from matchbook covers to comics, images of women and animals are merged — with devastating consequences.

    Like The Sexual Politics of Meat, which has been published in two editions, The Pornography of Meat uncovers startling connections:

    • Why pornography is fascinated with slaughtering and hunting.
    • Fixations on women's body parts expressed through ads for the breasts, legs, and thighs of chickens and turkeys.
    • Animals to be eaten as meat presented in seductive poses and sexy clothing This Carol calls "Anthropornography."(A term coined by feminist-animal activist Amie Hamlin) Anthropornography is the depiction of animals as whores. With the pornography of meat the attitudes towards women found in Playboy and other heterosexual pornography, can be expressed freely in a disguised way–when animals are the objects.
    • Back-entry poses in pornography that imply that women — especially women of color — are like animals: insatiable.
    • With meat eating, women's power of reproduction is reduced to female enslavement–making more babies for meat eating. Reproduction is devaluted–PIG, SOW, HEN, OLD BIDDY, BITCH–not a positive term among them.
    • How and why meat advertising draws on X-rated images.
    • Why at least one prominent animal-rights group has made an alliance with pornographers.
    With 200 illustrations, this courageous book establishes why Adams's slide show, upon which The Pornography of Meat is based, is so popular on campuses across North America and is reviled by the groups she takes on with insight and passion. Carol says, "Looking at the images of women and nonhumans that I was sent, I realized the hatred of women many of them express. I did not want to have this realization. But it was literally staring me in the face. There's a connection between male dominace and the exploitation of animals–you are not supposed to care, you are not supposed to ask of farmed animals, ‘what are you going through?' You are to be strong, and virile. A meat eating culture teaches men to love being macho and to hate women; to love steaks and to hate vegetarians. Perhaps meat eating advertisements are everyday reiterations of the mythic conquest of women and nonhuman animals."

    Table of Contents: The Pornography of Meat

    • What Pornography?
    • More than Meat
    • Man to Man
    • Yoked Oppressions
    • Beasts
    • Hamtastic
    • Body-Chopping
    • Armed Hunters
    • Hookers
    • The Fish in Water Problem
    • Anthropornography
    • I Ate a Pig
    • Average White Girl
    • Hoofing It
    • The Female of the Species
    • Male Chauvinist Pig?
    • Epilogue

    The Inner Art of Vegetarianism Series: Spiritual Practices for Body and Soul

    The Inner Art of Vegetarianism series explores the intersections of vegetarianism and spiritual practice. It shows how those who cultivate a spiritual practice--whether it is meditation, yoga, working with dreams, keeping a journal, breath awareness, and even cooking--can extend the spiritual awareness they have nurtured to acknowledging how eating meat affects their health, the health of the planet, and the welfare of other animals. It reveals how vegetarians can extend the meaning of their vegetarianism into other areas of conscious awareness, and how doing so can deepen and strengthen their commitment to their diet, worldview, and concern for changing the status quo. The empowering books in The Inner Art of Vegetarianism Series offer the possibility for change for all those seeking to live with more integrity and holism on this Earth, while giving us tools for relaxation, inner work, self-knowledge, and spiritual growth.

    The first book in this series is The Inner Art of Vegetarianism. In its pages, Carol provides practical exercises and draws upon her own life as a yoga practitioner, activist for women's and animal rights, anti-violence campaigner, and parent, partner, and cook. She reveals the insights and wisdom that can be gathered by paying attention to what we have consigned to insignificance: whether it is what we put in our bodies or in the day-to-day routines of our lives. She calls upon us to cherish all bodies--whether our own or those of other animals--and to honor our best impulses to live consciously on this planet. She also asks us to care for our souls--to cultivate joy and compassion, care for our selves and our own spiritual journeys, and to honor the process by which we can be transformed.

    This process, Carol writes, is both evolutionary and revolutionary. When she became a vegetarian, she notes, "I began to experience the world in a more positive way. I learned how to make a commitment through vegetarianism, and then I learned how to keep a commitment. Anyone who wants to change the world or themselves can learn this too. Vegetarianism offers this to everyone."

    Written, as Carol herself notes, to those in process from someone in process, The Inner Art of Vegetarianism is the first book that addresses the heart of what has been an unfortunate divide between vegetarians and spiritual practitioners. As Carol says, the former may be reluctant to cultivate a spiritual practice because they see religious and spiritual traditions condoning the eating of meat. The latter may see vegetarians as too rigid, doctrinaire, or concerned about the everyday (rather than the transcendental) world.

    Aware that everyone is at a different place on their spiritual journey, Carol shows how the path of transformation and the healing of the division between spiritual practitioners and vegetarians takes place one step at a time. Noting that you can only be a vegetarian one meal at a time, Carol advises us to immerse ourselves in our vegetarianism and/or spiritual practice by metaphorically dipping our toe into the waters--a daily deed that Carol calls touching the process. "Touching is how you practice your spiritual path," she writes. "If it is yoga, you practice; if it is vegetarianism, you choose your food accordingly; if it is keeping a journal, you write. Touching the process is the practicing of the practice; you touch the process to let the process touch you. These are body-related practices; they involve us. We cannot be spectators to our own spiritual growth."

    CLICK HERE to see view the table of contents for The Inner Art of Vegetarianism.

    The final book, Meditations on The Inner Art of Vegetarianism provides reflections and meditations for 366 days of the year.

    Who is The Inner Art of Vegetarianism for? People who have a spiritual practice and are aware that vegetarianism calls them, or that the possibility of vegetarianism is suggested by their practice. People who are vegans and vegetarians and either see this as an expression of their spirituality and would like to awaken a more spiritually-intense relationship with their vegetarian practice.

    Praise for The Inner Art of Vegetarianism:

    "In an age when most people embrace membership in a tribe (be it gender, race, ethnicity, religion, whatever) as a way of digging a moat around themselves, Carol Adams cultivates the ties that bind her to all sentient beings. Where others flaunt their differences, she rejoices in the unity of life. The Sexual Politics of Meat, her pioneering feminist analysis of meat-eating published a decade ago, showed us how patriarchal patterns of though create hierarchies of power that oppress us all. Life is indivisible, and either we connect with all who live or we create circles of oppression which–because life is indivisible–will encircle every one of us. In Sexual Politics, Adams was building bridges not only among the victims of oppression, but between the oppressed and the oppressors as well, with the aim of liberating us all.

    The bridge that Adams builds in The Inner Art of Vegetarianism joins the community of ethical vegetarians with the community of spiritual practitioners. …

    In language that is gentle and graceful, Carol Adams shows us how to be more effective in easing the suffering of other by engaging our own, and how to better cope with our own suffering by engaging the suffering of animals."

    --Norm Phelps, Satya

    "In The Inner Art of Vegetarianism, Carol Adams thoughtfully discusses how the practice of vegetarianism demonstrates care for animals and the environment while advancing good health. She explores spiritual practices–such as yoga, dreamwork, nonviolent action, meditation and journal-keeping–to encourage readers to attend fully to the present moment. The book's final section focuses on vegetarian cooking as a form of meditation."

    --Publishers' Weekly

    "After spending two decades practicing yoga and vegetarianism, this Dallas-area author has created a book detailing how her food selection is embedded in spirituality. While the book targets vegetarians, even a meat eater might enjoy its insight. And as Ms. Adams suggests, "it is also for spiritual seekers interested in practicing vegetarianism." The book details how readers can use journal writing, meditation, and cooking to reach a level of the subconscious mind previously reserved for spiritual practitioners."

    --The Dallas Morning News Religion Section

    CLICK HERE for an except from from the "Introduction" to Meditations:


    The Inner Art of Vegetarianism Workbook

    The Inner Art of Vegetarianism Workbook offers a variety of tools, methods, exercises, meditations, and writing prompts that guide you in touching the process of spiritual vegetarianism. For those who wish to become vegetarians, the Workbook features a gentle, inner process of changing, "Growing Vegetarian Roots." For vegetarians who wish to enhance their own spirituality, the Workbook provides a practical, engaged way to begin or continue the spiritual practices introduced in The Inner Art of Vegetarianism. It contains guidance for journal-keeping, dream work, body awareness, and meditation. For every reader, it emphasizes practical ways of deepening a sense of connectedness, compassion, and nonviolence so that they can express themselves through vegetarianism, activism, and daily living.

    The final book, The Inner Art of Vegetarianism Meditations is due out in 2001 will provide reflections and meditations. All of the Inner Art books are available from Lantern Books.


    Living Among Meat Eaters

    An invisible meat eater/vegetarian dynamic exists. Left unacknowledged it traps both groups in social interactions that can be painful and upsetting: conversations that become arguments; interactions that become confrontations; meals that exclude vegetarians; friends who sabotage them; nonvegetarian lovers who alienate them. With Living Among Meat Eaters Carol guides vegetarians through these sticky situations with friends, relatives, co-workers, waitstaff, and partners. Whereas meat eaters may be surprised that such a book is necessary, vegetarians will understand immediately. Nothing prepares us for the reactions our vegetarianism prompts from the larger meat-eating culture. Nothing, that is, until now.

    &From her experience speaking on campuses and to vegetarian groups, Carol encountered similar questions from vegetarians throughout the country. To her surprise, these questions focused on how, why, and what: "How do I relate to a meat eater who has just done this?" "Why did this happen?" "What can I do?"

    Anyone who is living on a low-fat or vegetarian diet will pick up Living Among Meat Eaters and breathe a sigh of relief. "So that is why that happened," they can think, as they remind themselves of that awful restaurant experience or the bitter disagreement they had with their parents/lover/best friend. Then they will see how to prevent it from happening again. Next they will urge the book upon their vegetarian friends because, finally, a book makes sense of their experiences.

    Since Living Among Meat Eaters has been published, Carol has heard from people who have read it and write, "I keep saying ‘yes, yes, yes' as I read it. You put into words what so many of us have felt." Meat eaters have written to say that they realized they were blocked vegetarians and have stopped eating animals. It is now available in a special hardcover gift edition as well as a paperback edition.

    Table of Contents for Living Among Meat Eaters

    • When Worlds Collide
    • Are You at Peace?
    • Repairing the Hole in Our Conscience
    • Judgment, Guilt, and Anger
    • Sabotage and Other Meat-Eating Defenses
    • Talking with Meat Eaters
    • Stopping the Conversation
    • Love at Work I: Living with Meat Eaters
      • The Nature of Relationships and Kitchens
    • Love at Work II: Living with Meat Eaters
      • The Family System
    • Love at Work III: Living with Meat Eaters
      • Partners and Children
    • Grace at Work: Eating with Meat Eaters
    • At Work: Working with, for, and (sometimes) against Meat Eaters
    • Magician at Work: Cooking for Meat Eaters
    • Being the Mover not the Moved
    • Recipes for Yourself and Others
    • Appendix A. Living Among Meat Eaters: Rules of Thumb
    • Appendix B: Letter to Parents of Vegetarians
    • Appendix C: The Vegetarian Patrons of Restaurants Card
    • Appendix D: International Vegetarian Card

CLICK HEREfor reviews of Living Among Meat Eaters


The Ethics of Diet

A Catena of Authorities Deprecatory of Flesh Eating

Howard Williams

Introduction by Carol J. Adams

"Now we can join Gandhi and Tolstoy and nameless others who encountered this vigorous and invigorating book. Welcome to a company of radicals who believed we could and should stop eating non-human animals. They brought vegetarianism out of history and into the here and now." -- from the introduction

Ethical vegetarianism is no recent development, as this unrivaled historical anthology dramatizes. When it was first published 120 years ago, countless people read and endorsed The Ethics of Diet. But then it became a rare book, hard to find even in libraries. For countless more readers, it is at last available again.

In this classic of vegetarian writing, Howard Williams presents a line of thought, a continuous thread, a tradition, a catena of protestation against living on "Butchery." What he finds striking is the variety of the witnesses, the prophets of "Reformed Dietetics" who have "shrunk from the régime of blood," including Gautama Buddha, Pythagoras, Plato, Hesiod, Epicurus, Seneca, Ovid, Thomas More, Montaigne, Mandeville, Pope, Voltaire, Swedenborg, Wesley, Rousseau, Shelley, Byron, Lamar-tine, Michelet, Bentham, Sinclair, Schopenhauer, and Thoreau. Their words are accompanied by the vigorous narrative voice of Williams himself, who put to rest, once and for all, the idea that vegetarianism is a fad.

Howard Williams was a nineteenth-century English humanitarian and vegetarian. The Ethics of Diet (Manchester, 1883) is his magnum opus, a foundational document in the history of vegetarianism.


Coming in 2004: Help! My child stopped eating meat! …and milk! … and cheese! … and eggs! (What's Left to Eat?) The Parents' A-Z Guide to Surviving and Thriving a Conflict in Diets.

As the title suggests, this original, insightful and compassionate book empowers parents to respond with love to the surprising and challenging changes that occur when their child becomes a vegetarian or a vegan. From arguments at dinner to tensions with relatives, from worries about the nutritional needs of their child (will my child die?) to the parent's desire to be of help (but how?), this book provides parents with easily accessible answers to basic concerns, from the nutritional to the practical to the family issues that a vegetarian child prompts.

Just a few of the topics that will be in the book include, the idea of "the door swinging off the hinges" (a time when the conflict between adolescent and parent is so intense it appears that the relationship cannot survive); how to avoid letting vegetarianism be that which sets the door swinging or keeps it from being re-hung. The book introduces the concept of the "nomad year," the year before the child graduates from high school, and explain how vegetarianism complicates that nomadic time. In an empathetic voice that recognizes that parenting is difficult, and change is hard to assimilate, the book affirms that vegetarianism need not be any more difficult to assimilate than a child's decision to take up the tuba.

The book is unique in its approach, and in its solutions, by offering not just hope, and not just nutritional information or practical advice, (though there are also extremely important to the book), but very specific ways in which one can continue to be present to a child in the midst of change.


Neither Man nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals

(Continuum, 1994)

Choice has said of this volume, "[Adams's] thinking is brilliant and original, and this volume belongs in every women's studies, theology, and environmental ethics collection."

Part 1: Examining the Arrogant Eye
  1. Eating Animals
  2. The Arrogant Eye and Animal Experimentation
  3. Abortion Rights and Animal Rights
  4. On Beastliness and a Politics of Solidarity
Part 2: "We Are One Lesson": Transforming Feminist Theory
  1. Ecofeminism and the Eating of Animals
  2. The Feminist Traffic in Animals
  3. Reflections on a Stripping Chimpanzee: On the Need to Integrate Feminism, Animal Defense, and Environmentalism
Part 3: From Misery to Grace
  1. Bringing Peace Home: A Feminist Philosophical Perspective on the Abuse of Women, Children, and Pet Animals
  2. Feeding on Grace: Institutional Violence, Feminist Ethics, and Vegetarianism
  3. Beastly Theology: When Epistemology Creates Ontology

Ecofeminism and the Sacred.

The Ms. magazine reviewer recommended this volume saying, "This multicultural anthology is a thoughtful contribution to an evolving body of analysis and action." It is published by Continuum International.

Table of Contents

Revisioning Religion

  • Rosemary Radford Ruether: Ecofeminism: Symbolic and Social Connections of the Oppression of Women and the Domination of Nature
  • Delores S. Williams: Sin, Nature, and Black Women's Bodies
  • Catherine Keller: Talk about the Weather: The Greening of Eschatology
  • Stephanie Kaza: Acting with Compassion: Buddhism, Feminism, and the Environmental Crisis
  • Judith Plaskow: Feminist Judaism and Repair of the World
  • Sallie McFague: An Earthly Theological Agenda
  • Lina Gupta: Ganga: Purity, Pollution, and Hinduism

Envisioning Ecofeminism

  • Karen J. Warren: A Feminist Philosophical Perspective on Ecofeminist Spiritualities
  • L. Teal Willoughby: Ecofeminist Consciousness and the Transforming Power of Symbols
  • Ellen Cronan Rose: The Good Mother: From Gaia to Gilead
  • Andy Smith: For All Those Who Were Indian in a Former Life
  • Gloria Feman Orenstein: Toward an Ecofeminist Ethic of Shamanism and the Sacred
  • Shamara Shantu Riley: Ecology Is a Sistah's Issue Too: The Politics of Emergent Afrocentric Afrowomanism

Embodying Ecofeminist Spiritualities

  • Carol Lee Sanchez: Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral: The Sacred Connection
  • Jane Caputi: Nuclear Power and the Sacred: Or Why a Beautiful Woman Is Like a Nuclear Power Plant
  • Rebecca Johnson: New Moon Over Roxbury: Reflections on Urban Life and the Land
  • Charlene Spretnak: Earthbody and Personal Body as Sacred
  • Byllye Avery and Mary E. Hunt: Natural Resources
  • Carol J. Adams and Marjorie Procter-Smith: Taking Life or "Taking on Life"? Table Talk and Animals
  • Zoe Weil: Ecofeminist Education: Adolescence, Activism, and Spirituality



Woman-Battering is a volume in Fortress Press's Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling Series, called by one reviewer, "a wonderfully practical book to help clergy and pastoral counselors deal with abuse in intimate relationships....A major contribution is her insight as to how to make theological sense out of the horror and misery that has lain concealed in the midst of a congregation....An important contribution of the book is the development of an approach to the batterer....Its straightforward step by step treatment makes it a marvelous handbook for those who would be agents of change and want the tools to begin."

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Woman-Battering in Christian Congregations
  • Naming
  • Being Prepared
  • Making Referrals
  • Safety
  • Accountability
  • Suffering and Theology
  • Conclusion: Creating a Responsive Church Community
  • Appendix: Handling an Emergeny Call

Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations

Edited with Josephine Donovan (Duke University Press, 1995)

Table of Contents

Part 1: Sexism/Speciesism: Interlocking Oppression

  • Joan Dunayer: Sexist Words, Speciesist Roots
  • Lynda Birke : Exploring the Boundaries: Feminism, Animals and Science
  • Carol J. Adams: Woman-Battering and Harm to Animals
  • Marti Kheel: An Ecofeminist Critique of Hunters' Discourse
  • Maria Comninou: Speech, Pornography, and Hunting
  • Gary L. Francione: Abortion and Animal Rights: Are They Comparable Issues?

Part 2: Alternative Stories

  • Linda Vance: Beyond Just-So Stories: Narrative, Animals, and Ethics
  • Karen Davis: Thinking Like a Chicken: Farm Animals and the Feminine Connection
  • Diane Antonio: Of Wolves and Women
  • Marian Scholtmeijer: The Power of Otherness: Animals in Women's Fiction
  • Reginald Abbott: Birds Don't Sing in Greek: Virginia Woolf and "The Plumage Bill"
  • Brian Luke: Taming Ourselves or Going Feral? Toward a Nonpatriarchal Metaethic of Animal Liberation
  • Susanne Kappeler: Speciesism, Racism, Nationalism... or the Power of Scientific Subjectivity

Bibliography of Feminist Approaches to Animal Issues


Beyond Animal Rights: A Feminist Caring Ethic for the Treatment of Animals

edited with Josephine Donovan (Continuum).

Table of Contents

  • The Liberation of Nature: A Circular Affair, By Marti Kheel
  • Animal Rights and Feminist Theory, By Josephine Donovan
  • Toward an Ecological Ethic of Care, By Deane Curtin
  • Justice, Caring, and Animal Liberation, By Brian Luke
  • Caring forAnimals, By Rita C. Manning
  • The Caring Sleuth: Portrait of an Animal Rights Activist, By Kenneth Shapiro
  • Attention to Suffering: Sympathy as a Basis for Ethical Treatment of Animals, By Josephine Donovan
  • Caring about Suffering: A Feminist Exploration, By Carol J. Adams

Violence Against Women and Children: A Christian Theological Sourcebook

(New York: Continuum, 1995)

Edited with Marie M. Fortune. Unfortunately, because of the glacial ways in which the Christian community is dealing with these issues, this book is still right on target in its analysis of the problems. It has been called a "must read." One reviewer said, "If you read only one book [this year], let it be this one."

Table of Contents:

Part I: Theological Foundations

  • Toward a Feminist Theology of Religion and the State, by Carol J. Adams
  • For God So Loved the World?, by Joanne Carlson Brown and Rebecca Parker
  • Ending Innocence and Nurturing Willfulness, by Rita Nakashima Brock
  • The Transformation of Suffering: A Biblical and Theological Perspective, by Marie Fortune

Part II: Reconsidering Biblical Concepts

  • Reading Adam and Eve: Re-Visions of the Myth of Woman's Subordination, by Charles Ess
  • Structures of Forgiveness in the New Testament, by Frederick W. Keene
  • Let's Look Again at the Biblical Concept of Submission, by Catherine Clark Kroeger
  • The Gerasene Demoniac and the Sexually Violated, by Peter Horsfield

Part III: Ethical Appraisals

  • Bringing Justice Home: The Challenge of the Battered Women's for Christian Social Ethics, by Sarah Bentley
  • Moral Agency of Women in a Battered Women's Shelter b, y Allison Manuel Moore
  • "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot!': A Womanist Response to Sexual Violence and Abuse, by Toinette M. Eugene
  • Forgiveness: The Last Step , by Marie M. Fortune

Part IV: Historical Revisioning

  • Augustine on Rape: One Chapter in the Theological Tradition, by Mary Pellauer
  • Historical Theology and Violence Against Women: Unearthing a Popular Tradition of Just Battery, by Mary Potter Engle
  • The Power to See and the Power to Name; American Church History and the Problem of Domestic Violence, by Ann Taves
  • The Imperishable Virginity of Saint Maria Goretti, by Kathleen Zuanich Young
  • Prophetic or Followers? The United Church of Canada, Gender, Sexuality and Violence Against Women, by Tracy Trothen

Part V: Contemporary Revisioning

  • When the Mountain Won't Move, by Linda H. Hollies
  • Seduced by Faith: Sexual Traumas and Their Embodied Effects, by Jennifer L. Manlowe
  • Born Again, Free from Sin?: Sexual Violence in Evangelical Communities, by Andy Smith
  • Is Nothing Sacred? The Betrayal of the Ministerial or Teaching Relationship, by Marie M. Fortune
  • Taking Sides Against Ourselves, by Rosemary L. Bray
  • The Difference Race Makes: Sexual Harassment and the Law in the Thomas-Hill Hearings, by Karen Baker-Fletcher
  • Christian Conquest and the Sexual Colonization of Native Women b, y Andy Smith
  • Healing in Communities Following an Experience of Mission as Oppression, By Stan McKay

Part VI: The Contemporary Church--Pastoral Ministry, Liturgical Issues, and Theological Education

  • Church Response to Domestic Violence, by John M. Johnson and Denise M. Bondurant
  • Revisiting the 1982 Church Response Survey, by John M. Johnson and Denise M. Bondurant
  • "Reorganizing Victimization": The Intersection between Liturgy and Domestic Violence, by Marjorie Procter-Smith
  • Saving the Family: When is the Covenant Broken?, Mitzi N. Eilts
  • Calling to Accountability: The Church's Responses to Abusers, Marie M. Fortune and James Poling
  • The Whole Loaf: Holy Communion and Survival, Marjorie Procter-Smith
  • Hope Lies in "The Struggle Against It": Co-Teaching a Seminary Course on Domestic Violence and Theology, By Marvin M. Ellison and Kristina B. Hewey

To Order Books:

You can order books several different ways.

If you want to order books online go to

This is the original "Amazon" bookstore--a feminist bookstore in Minnesota. Help resist the big chain bookstores and support independent bookstores!

Or order directly from the publishers:

* Fortress search for: ISBN 0800627857

To order The Inner Art of Vegetarianism online from the publisher:

To order The Inner Art of Vegetarianism Workbook online from the publisher:

And if you find yourself in one of those chain bookstores, ask for these books. Help spread the word!



Ten Great Reasons to Buy Books:

  1. Books are tools of social change.
  2. Books cost about the same as movies and vegan frozen desserts for four but are more permanent.
  3. If books on progressive issues aren't bought, publishers won't publish more of them.
  4. Books change lives.
  5. Books answer questions.
  6. Books can explain your feelings and beliefs in a safe, nonconfrontative manner.
  7. Books provide solace and support.
  8. Books make great presents!
  9. Books stay alive by being in circulation–bought, shared, given.
  10. If a book changed your life, give it to others–give them a chance to be changed.

Spread the Word

"Spread the Word" from the "Living Among Meat Eaters" column of Animals' Agenda, 22, no. 2 (March/April 2002), p. 29.

by Carol J. Adams

Recently, I was in Ohio and took a few hours to browse through a second-hand bookstore. I told the owner as I purchased my books that I was sad to hear he was closing at the end of the month. The owner explained why he had to close, "Radical don't buy books."

It is one thing to be published (and undeniably that is very exciting), but it is another thing to promote one's published books. Promotion is very difficult, or at least for the first ten years of being an author it was for me. I know books are expensive. At first I was very apologetic about the costs of my books. But movies and CDs and Rice Dream frozen desserts don't cost that much less. Book reading and book giving and book buying need to be seen as a part of animal activism.

Many animal activists are also anti-consumerism, and for good reasons.

But I want to encourage animal activists to buy books. It is for activist reasons that I urge this. As an author I want you to read what I have written. Every author desires this. But as an author, I need you to buy what I have written. Every author needs this, too.

Publishers publish books because they assume there is a market for the books. If there is no market, there will be fewer animal-related books. Lantern Books, a new publisher, has taken great risks to bring us important animal-related books. They have republished books that were out of print. They have published an anthology of writings from this magazine. It is in our best interests as animal activists to help them succeed, and to support any publisher who takes risks with this material.

Think about what a book does. It announces simultaneously, "this topic matters" and "this author has something to say."

A book may have changed your life.

A book can answer a question, "Doesn't the Bible grant dominion over animals?"

When someone says, "I can't talk to you anymore," a book can explain your feelings and beliefs in a safe, nonconfrontative manner.

When confusing and frustrating things occur, a book may help you interpret what happened, and see it in a new perspective.

When you feel overwhelmed, a book may provide solace and support.

When you find yourself unable to articulate something that is important, a book may provide explanations.

Books are tools of social change. Healthy blood, we know, circulates fresh oxygen. Books need to be in circulation too. They can keep us invigorated. They need to be read, passed around, discussed. Books need to be kept alive.

Support publishers who take risks with these subjects. In doing so, you are also creating a market for writers who are not yet published, writers who may not yet be writing. You, perhaps?

  • Get a book to lend to others.
  • Give vegan cookbooks and animal-related books that are important to you to people who are important to you.
  • Recommend your favorite animal-related books and vegan recipe books to your local library or give them copies.
  • Give books to your local high school library.
  • Ask for books as gifts.
  • Start stocking books up now for holidays to be given as gifts to friends and family members. Think of it this way: they won't be any less useful that some of the other presents they have probably received.

You don't have to wait for a holiday. Give a book for mother's or father's day–"this explains who I am" or "here are some great recipes." Give a book for a birthday. Give a book spontaneously–that will be remembered. Get books into circulation.

Order them through your favorite vegan or animal activist catalog. If they don't carry it, ask them to. Ask for them, too, at Barnes and Noble and Borders–get them on the shelves for those who purchase only from these chains. (And if you favorite animal activist books are there, do some creative arranging and point the cover outward, so that it has the chance to be noticed.) Ask for them at airport bookstores. Order them from the Book Publishing Company and their Mail Order Catalog. Order them from an alternative bookstore or a feminist bookstore.

Ideas are free, but keeping them in circulation isn't. If there is a book of which you say, "This book changed my life," give it to others–perhaps it will do the same for them.


Interviews with Carol

CLICK HERE to read them!

Web site by Pamela Rice