Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Twenty facts about the 20th Anniversary Edition of The Sexual Politics of Meat

1. It took fifteen years to write.

2. It’s been published in China, Japan, Korea, and Germany. I’d love to see French, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch editions.

3. Consolidated, an industrial rock group of the 1990s, created a song “The Sexual Politics of Meat.” They used a tape of me reading from the book. You can hear a part of it on the video celebrating the release of the 20th anniversary edition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU2VkRpXSUo

4. It is informed by my years of social justice activism against domestic violence, racism, and poverty and for farm workers, integrated housing, and peace. I needed those years to ferment the ideas, to learn from activism, and to read tons of books.

5. It won 1990 Continuum Women’s Studies Award. The following year, one of my closest friends, Mary E. Hunt won it! Sadly, the award is no longer given.

6. When The Sexual Politics of Meat was unveiled at the Modern Language Association in December 1999, it generated so much excitement that the Continuum booth was mobbed. Years later, the representative from Harper & Row, whose booth was next to Continuum’s, still talked about it.

7. Readers of The Sexual Politics of Meat are an incredibly diverse, wonderfully engaged group of people.

8. Right wing commentators like Rush Limbaugh loved to hate it. I thought, “gee, if they agreed with me, I’d really be in trouble!”

9. Law and Order SVU used ideas from The Sexual Politics of Meat (and its slide show) in a recent episode on “Beef.” Of course! Because as the fictional me says on their show, “Meat eating and patriarchy go hand in hand.”

10. Just two weeks after the book appeared, someone sent me an image proving the claims in the book. Since then, I’ve received hundreds of images. I plan on giving them to an archive.

11. Twenty-three years ago, while reading Margaret Homans’ Bearing the Word, I encountered the idea of the absent referent. I realized “that is what animals are.” Upon waking the next day, I knew, “and that is what women are, too.”

12. There were at least four different drafts to the book before I had my breakthrough in May 1987 and figured out how to organize the book.

13. When my children were five and one, a friend gave them t-shirts that said, “My mommy wrote The Sexual Politics of Meat.”

14. The Sexual Politics of Meat has never been out of print in twenty years.

15. Nellie McKay wrote the foreword to the twentieth anniversary edition.

16. I like to call The Sexual Politics of Meat the “mother” of Lantern Books, because Martin Rowe and Gene Gollogly, the founders of Lantern Books, first met each other after Martin wrote a letter to Continuum congratulating them on publishing The Sexual Politics of Meat.

17. It was banned by an Oklahoma library and (temporarily) stopped by Customs officials from entering Canada for being “pornographic”; if only it had been banned in a few more places, maybe progressive meat eaters might have taken up its cause, and its message!

18. It changes people’s lives. I know; it began by changing mine.

19. I couldn’t have done it without libraries and librarians.

20. The Twentieth Anniversary Edition is now available! Ask your local independent bookstore to stock it!


  1. Thanks for such an important book, Carol. I know that it has changed the way that I think about the world.

  2. In celebration, I'll be ordering it for my store today!

  3. I certainly like feeling part of the diversity. Very impressed by "Law and Order:SVU" involvement. Will now go off to imdb to find out who played fictional you, if I can, they only really list characters by name but the message board might help me out.

  4. There weren't many female characters listed outside the main cast. Please, please say it was Lynn Cohen (Magda from "Sex and the City") who played "you". I've never seen a fictionalised version of myself, thank goodness.

  5. I'm living in Montreal and I'm running around town trying to find a copy! I cant wait to get my hands on it!!!

  6. Your book changed my life almost 15 years ago. When I was 19, I decided to read about animal rights, eating animals, etc. I bought your book and Peter Singer's, and I decided that I would read them both and then decide whether to change my diet. Being a feminist, I chose to read your book first. Before I even finished it, I viscerally rejected meat-eating and became vegetarian (on 1/2/96). A few years later, I became vegan after further reflection/transition. Many thanks, Carol Adams!

  7. Carol thank you for that book! I enjoyed it very much to read it and I was very happy that there is a German version.
    I was already vegan and feminist but if i wouldn't I'm pretty sure that book had changed my life!
    The most important message from your book is that it gaves me the knowledge of a vegetarian-feminist history. That was a very important experience for me. Thanks a lot.

  8. I will do my best to download it across Internet 'cos I've been hearing to many opinions about this book. It's going to be fine if I could find it.

  9. I read the majority of this book and skimmed the rest and definitely got the point. I have been a vegetarian for decades now, so I didn't need any persuading. I think her arguments are valid, but sometimes they stretch a bit too far. They are definitely disturbing.

  10. aga siz bu işi biliyorsunuz ya biz pr 4 yapmak için kendimizi yırtıyoruz. lazer epilasyon