Projekt: Avhandling


The fact that meat consumption is perceived as individualised, personal choice risks a depoliticisation of its negative socio-political impacts on the environment, social inequality, and public health. Viewing meat eating as personal choice is justified through rationales of normalcy, tradition, and necessity (Joy 2010). This creates a sense of entitlement suggesting that choosing what or whom to eat is entrenched in conceptualisations of human liberty.

The Swedish “meat norm” refers to normalised animal consumption specific to the Swedish context. Scrutinising the “meat norm” as a hindering factor to a significant reduction of meat consumption, this project critically examines how conceptualisations of individual choice derived from taken for granted notions about human liberty are related to the instrumentalisation of animals and nature. Understanding implicit epistemic assumptions about social order is relevant to understand our relation to animals, the environment, marginalised human groups, and future generations. Little attention has been paid to researching the complexity of these underlying power processes and their philosophical underpinnings in culturally specific contexts to determine the advantages and challenges of political intervention.

The aim of this study is to examine the socio-political implications of continuing to uphold the Swedish “meat norm”. Understanding how underlying power processes and values upholding meat normativity are implicit to constructions of human liberty allows us to examine how they obstruct political intervention to reduce meat consumption. Considering potentials and challenges of changing Sweden’s “meat norm” aids in thinking about possible alternatives and to determine appropriate means of political intervention to influence a reduction in meat consumption.

Joy, Melanie (2010) Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows (San Francisco: Conari Press)
Kort titelPhD Project
Gällande start-/slutdatum2017/09/012021/06/30


  • Canavan, Jana (PI)