Thursday, April 30, 2015

Prompt #3

For this week's post (due by Friday, May 8), I would like you all to look up an article (magazine, newspaper, etc.) or segment from a news show, etc., that is either for or against animal testing. Analyze the ethical underpinnings of its argument and how it thinks through the rights of animals. How do they understand the relation of animals to humans? How does their perspective on the legitimacy of animal testing and the bodily autonomy of animals relate to Descartes' views? What arguments do they give to justify or to refute the right of humans to perform tests on animals?

You could also choose to look at a clip from a film or tv show that engages explicitly with the issue of animal testing.

Bisclavret and Supernatural

In the story Bisclavret by Marie de France, the King is a werewolf. He would go off into the woods for three days at a time, once a month during the full moon. No one knew where he would go, not even the Lady. One day she asks him where he goes, and he tells her that he goes into the woods and turns into a werewolf for three days, where he feeds upon whatever prey her can find. He tells her that his only weakness is that if someone were to find his clothing while he was in the form of a werewolf, he would remain in that form and never be able to return. However the Lady betrayed him, and sent a knight (whom she loved) to go retrieve her husbands clothing, and for a year he didn't return. Until their anniversary he returned to harm the couple.

The TV show Supernatural, werewolves are depicted in a similar way as in Bisclavret. The werewolves, however, are men and woman. They always have sharp teeth and claws, and most often feed on humans. These werewolves also have a very unique feature, they always consume the heart of whatever they are eating. This is interesting to me, as I believe the show is trying to make a statement about werewolves, and that they are ruthless killers out for blood. Both Bisclavret and Supernatural depict werewolves as ferocious creatures who transform into wolves in the full moon.

Werewolves in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bisclavret

In the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, werewolves are humans suffering from a curse that causes them to turn into lupine like creatures during the full moon.  While in their wolf form, they are guided by instinct alone and are unable to recognize loved ones.  Some wolf instincts leak into their time as humans, such as the desire to eat meat, recognizing fellow werewolves, and heightened senses and reflexes.  People's reactions to werewolves, whether they were afflicted with the curse or not, carried amongst the characters of the show.  Some people believed werewolves shouldn't be held accountable for what is done during the full moon.  However, there are hunters that would find werewolves and kill them in order to collect their pelts for the black market, or simply hunt them for recreation.  Of the werewolves, they would often either be scared of their wolf form and do their best to restrain it, or believe that the transformation is the best part of them.

Unlike the wolf in "Bisclavret", the werewolves in Buffy the Vampire Slayer do not recognize other beings.  Buffy werewolves are said to be driven by the wolf's instinct to hunt and that the human rationality remains dormant.  There is a hierarchy in werewolf packs, but no acknowledgment of humans on the part of the transformed wolf besides prey.  In Marie's story, the wife's revulsion of her husband is because of his transformation, and no longer wishes "to lie with him" due to something he has no control over.  She does not care that he remains as a human for the rest of the month, much like the character Gib Cain in Buffy.  Cain kills werewolves during the full moon specifically so he can skin them and sell their fur on the black market and does not recognize werewolves to be regular humans when not transformed.  They both dismiss werewolves as humans, even though werewolves spend most of their life in human form and are perfectly viable members of human society.  Even several werewolves themselves in Buffy are so scared of their other form that they leave their homes and search for an impossible cure.  However, some friends of the werewolves, in either show or story, still remain loyal to their afflicted friend.  In "Bisclavret" it is because king notices that "It has the intelligence of a human," and in Buffy it is because the human self is forced to be dormant during transformation and therefore any actions are entirely that of a wolf.  A separation is created between the wolf and the human in both stories based on whether human intelligence is recognized when the werewolf is in their lupine form.

The Big Bad Wolf

In the popular comic series 'Fables', the character known as Bigby Wolf is depicted as caring, protective, aggressive and impulsive. Formerly known as The Big Bad Wolf, he has a reputation that makes it difficult for people to trust him. Back when he was The Big Bad Wolf he permanently resided in his wolf form living in the wild and murdering whom he pleased. Through reformation, he became the sheriff of Fabletown and now can freely transform between human and wolf forms. In the comics he is permanently in tune with his animal side and smokes cigarettes constantly to mask the scent of humans. He is also married to Snow White and they have seven cubs...not the ideal family man, but still a good one, willing to do anything for his family. Bigby Wolf is similar to Bisclavret, being that he is one of kind.
In "Bisclavret" the baron as Bisclavret is depicted as gentle and noble, unlike Bigby, but like Bigby is allowed to live amongst humans still in wolf form. The people surrounded by Bisclavret feel secure and trust him, but they fear werewolves. Like Bisclavret, Bigby has qualities that make people feel protected (not just because he is the sheriff), and a handful of people who trust him, but also like werewolves, Bigby has plenty of people who fear him as well. And much like Bisclavret, although people trust and respect him, they still depict him as an animal, especially in wolf form.

Werewolves in Harry Potter

In the world created by J.K. Rowling, there are two main werewolf characters, Remus Lupin and Fenrir Greyback, and they are consistently ranked at the bottom of the social order throughout the series. This is because werewolves do not maintain their 'human' brain when they transform into a wolf, and instead are dictated by their wolf instincts. Both werewolves represent opposite ways in which society looks down upon them. Remus Lupin is the example of a good man trying to live a normal life, despite his 'disease'. For much of the series Lupin struggles to find work or housing due his being a werewolf, and because of this he is often portrayed as poor and weak. Whereas Greyback is the werewolf stereotype that most in this fictional society believe to be true, as he is evil and prepared to kill. When the humans transform into wolves they are portrayed as untamed and extremely dangerous, prone to attack the first human they see, not out fear, but malice. Unlike "Bisclavret", the distinction between wolf and human in these novels is severe.

In "Bisclavret" the boundary between human and wolf is much more fluid, because the werewolf in this short story was able to maintain his 'human' brain when he transformed into a wolf. Also, Bisclavret was able to have some control over his transformations, because to turn back into a man all he needed were his human clothes, further showing the fluidity portrayed between man and animal. This helps to represent the shift in in recent culture, which now draws the line more distinctly between human and nonhuman animals. Also, in contrast to the Harry Potter novels, Bisclavret was able to be respected and even trusted by the King while he was still stuck in wolf form. One of the few similarities between both stories is the rejection of werewolves by the majority of society. Bisclavrets wife was so afraid of her husbands transformation that she attempted to condemn him to a life stuck in his wolf form by stealing his clothes. It is through the comparison of these two works that the shift to a culture that places humans much more highly than nonhuman animals can be represented. 

Werewolves vs. Humans

In the popular television series “The Vampire Diaries” werewolves live amongst the humans totally undetected. Once a month they undergo a painful and dangerous transition from their human form to their werewolf form. The few people that are aware of these humans who transition into werewolves consider them superior to themselves because they are faster and stronger than people. Because the werewolves interact seamlessly and blend in with society while in their human form most people are unaware of who they really are and do not see them as dominate or superior. The boundary between humans and animals in “The Vampire Diaries” is a very thin line due to the ability of the werewolves to conceal their true identities and transform from human to animal. Werewolves are represented as superior to humans in “The Vampire Diaries”, while in “Bisclavret” humans fear all werewolves except Bisclavret.

            In “Bisclavret” the werewolf is described as “a ferocious beast which, when possessed by this madness, devours men, causes great damage and dwells in vast forests”. Although werewolves are typically feared, Bisclavret is thought of as a loyal friend to the King and everyone else. Because of the respect Bisclavret shows to the King he is considered safe and was allowed around people and in the King’s home. In “The Vampire Diaries” the wolves are friends with the people who know their true identity, but are feared by others. In “Bisclavret” the humans are aware of Bisclavret but they trust him enough to feel safe in his presence, while the werewolves who are unknown remain a fear for people. Although Bisclavret is trusted by the King he is still considered an animal, and therefore inferior to humans. The werewolves in “The Vampire Diaries” are seen as superior to humans by all people who know their true identity.

In the novel Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, werewolves are a key part of the plot and are discussed in detail. In the wizarding world, werewolves are humans that transform during a full moon into a creature that is taller and altogether scarier than an ordinary wolf.  The process of transformation is shown very clearly and is very painful, especially during early years. These creatures hunt during their transformation but do not kill for sport, though they will attack humans more often than they will attack other animals. They do not retain any of their humanity while transformed and will not recognize even their closest of friends. Most werewolves are entirely normal people when not under the influence of a full moon, although in some cases, such as Fenir Greyback, a villain in the series, they seem to be perpetually stuck between the two. In this world, there is a potion that can reduce the effects of the transformation and cause the werewolf to simply become a harmless wolf until the full moon sets. However, there is no way to completely cure someone of their lycanthropy.

In Bisclavret, the transformation does not affect the man’s rationality or intelligence in the slightest. It appears that the change is only physical and that the mind remains fully functioning at human level. This is very different from the werewolves of Harry Potter because Bisclavret has the ability to recognize people such as his wife and the king while in animal form, but in Harry Potter, the werewolf attacks his best friend and his students. While Bisclavret adapts to living in the castle and remembers everything about how his wife has wronged him, the werewolf in Harry Potter only responds to aggression and the sound of another werewolf in the distance. These two stories represent very different versions of this mythological creature which has been around for centuries. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

True Blood/Bisclavret

The popular television series True Blood depicts werewolves as extremely masculine, aggressive and overly-dominant. The main werewolf in the series, Alcide Herveaux, was expressed as being almost ashamed of his werewolfness and wanting to be separate from his pack, even though he was the rightful leader. He was in love with Sookie Stackhouse, the main protagonist on the show, who is portrayed as a beautiful and delicate fairy. He is constantly let down and teased by Sookie because she could never fully commit herself to him. The contrast of ravenous beast and delicate fairy together only emphasizes his masculinity. Even the female werewolves were portrayed as excessively aggressive, mean, and powerful.

In Bisclavret, the knight secretly turns into a werewolf three days a week and spends those days living deep in the forest hunting his food and living wildly, like a beast. The days where he is not a werewolf is spent with his wife living his life as a knight, respected by many. True Blood werewolves are similar to this, however, since this is a more contemporary take on classic werewolves, they are more assimilated in every day society, until of course, no one is watching. This is when they are able to change into their wolf form and roam free in the nearby wilderness of Louisiana. They also don't get a break from being "beasts," because even when they are in their human form, they still act like the wolves that they are. This is unlike Bisclavret where the wolf is able to kiss the king's feet and beg him for mercy, even convincing the king that he "possess understanding and intelligence." More often than not, True Blood werewolves act more like wolves than civilized humans no matter what form they're in. Their wolf instincts are inherently stronger than their human ones.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Werewolves/Wolves in the Chronicles of Narnia

In the Chronicles of Narnia movies and books, werewolves/wolves were servants to the White Witch. They were seen as one of the darkest creatures inhabiting the mystical realm of Narnia. They were loyal to the White Witch and served in her army and secret police. They were present at the sacrifice of Aslan by the White Witch. They were one of the many species that had the ability to talk in Narnia and they were also intelligent. The wolves resembled wolves as on Earth just a bit bigger and as vicious. The werewolves had stood upright on its hind legs.

In both “Bisclavret” and Narnia, werewolves/wolves are loyal to their masters. In “Bisclavret,” the werewolf knight was loyal to the king; In Narnia, the werewolves were loyal to the White Witch. However, a difference was that the werewolves/wolves in Narnia can speak. In both “Bisclavret” and Narnia, werewolves/wolves were seen as intelligent. In “Bisclavret,” when the knight wolf begged the king for his life and knelt down before him, the king acknowledged that the wolf was an intelligent creature. In the Chronicles Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, when the wolves surrounded the kids at the beavers’ home and found the tunnel they used to escape, I would consider them to be intelligent animals as they were tracking the kid fugitives.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hemlock Grove Werewolf

As shown in the above picture, the werewolves in the Netflix show Hemlock Grove depicts werewolves as the "wild inside." The transformation experience is a painful one drawing on humans fear of their animal nature as well as their fear of animals that can harm them, like wolves. These werewolves maintain certain human emotions but are far less inhibited and are more quickly to act on their impulses, which can lead to danger for themselves and others.  This show also takes this idea one step further by adding the vargulf, a werewolf that has become mentally and physically unstable due to transforming outside of the lunar cycle by which they normally turn. These werewolves are violent and are especially dangerous because they will kill prey just for fun and not for a meal, making it even more fear educing. Both the werewolf and the vargulf transformation appears to be the wolf tearing through the human body encasing it in a very violent and graphic display that makes humans as viewers feel very uncomfortable and fearful. Hemlock Grove draws a distinct line between wolves and humans and leads viewers to fear the werewolves, much like humans in every day life are scared of wolves in the wild.

In comparison to Bisclavret, the werewolves in Hemlock Grove are far more violent and separated from human life. In Bisclavret, the wolf acts more like a human when cornered by the king, achieving mercy and a place in the kings castle. He uses his human mentality to save his life and does not let wolf impulses take over, if they are there to begin with. This is highly contrasted in Hemlock Grove where the wolf side outweighs the human side while transformed and plays a role even while they are in human form. Bisclavret attempts to blur the line between human and wolf whereas Hemlock Grove tries to separate the two, making humans even more afraid of wolves.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Why is yogurt only advertised to women?

Why is yogurt advertised solely to women?

In the few links I provide below we see examples of yogurt being advertised solely to women. Yogurt commercials typically portray women as best friends, a mother and daughter duo, or even a health conscious woman by herself, contemplating an unhealthy snack or the yogurt as an alternative. Through marketing and advertising campaigns yogurt has become the official snack for women with the obvious counterpart of beer and meat being marketed solely to men.

I believe that the gendering of food can be traced back as far Medieval Times. Before people became educated regarding the nutritional values of grains, vegetables, and dairy products meat was considered the only way to obtain substantial protein. During this time men were the hunters, while women were the gatherers. Men were considered the most superior and powerful gender compared to women and thus consumed the majority of the meat products thinking they deserved the protein. Even though a woman's daily work could be just as strenuous as a man's, men were considered the gender with the most physical work to do, and meat was considered the main source of strength and protein to do the work.

Research now shows us that people who choose to eat no meat can still get all of the protein and nutrients they need from other sources, and can be even healthier than those who choose to consume meat products. In some cultures vegetarians are still assumed to be woman, and men are looked at as weaker if they choose a vegetarian diet. Out of the 3.2 percent of American adults who partake in a vegetarian lifestyle, 60% of them are woman. Although it was a long time ago that men who did not eat meat were thought of as feminine and less masculine, some of this stereotyping is still present today.

Advertising to a gender comes down to two basic things: health and attractiveness. The reason yogurt is exclusively marketed towards women is because it is advertised as a healthy snack alternative that will help you reach or maintain your weight goals and thus make you healthy and more attractive. When marketing to men its not about weight goals, its about becoming stronger and more masculine so you’ll be more sexually attractive. Women generally respond best when things are targeted as “health goals” and for men marketing tends to be about whether or not this product will help them get laid. Yogurt fits into the first category.

         Take Activia yogurt commercials for example. Activia promotes their brand of yogurt as healthy for digestion problems in women. It is considered less-masculine for men to battle with digestion problems and thus its not discussed. Yogurt is also said to balance the bacteria needed to maintain vaginal health. As a man would you grab yogurt as a snack when it’s said to maintain vaginal health? 

In the Yoplait commercial you see a woman trying to decide if she should have a piece of cheesecake or not.  She discovers the cheesecake-flavored yogurt in her refrigerator and eats instead.  You are led to believe she is thrilled at getting to have her Cheesecake yogurt and she doesn’t miss the real thing at all. It is highly unlikely to see a commercial of a man contemplating what to eat because of diet or weight consciousness. 

Manmercials | 2015 Taco Bell® Triple Steak Stack Commercial

In this "Manmercial", Taco Bell delineates certain stereotypes of what it means to be a man such as using body spray, driving cars, shaving facial hair, lifting weights, chugging water, and swinging wood. Towards the end, the commercial mocks these stereotypes by saying that "if you need to be told how to be a man, Taco Bell's Triple Steak Stack isn't for you."
The irony in this commercial is that Taco Bell goes against the "masculine" stereotypes, which then are used to reinforce them by targeting the commercial to men. In other words, Taco Bell elaborately creates a satire of manly stereotypes by opposing those stereotypes and saying that men don't need to be told how to be a man. However, in doing so, Taco Bell ends up supporting gender stereotypes by aiming the Triple Steak Stack, a meat item, towards men. Because men in this commercial clearly portray dominance (with women only shown on the side of men), the gender stereotypes that meat is manly stays apparent. There is fault in this commercial in that it supports the idea that foods are gender-specific. Although this commercial's purpose is to be satirical and funny, Taco Bell executed it poorly by ending it with three males eating the Triple Steak Stack and neglecting women from playing more significant roles.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Epic Meal Time: More like Epic MALE Time

The Youtube channel Epic Meal Time is a prime example of meat consumption being culturally related to masculinity. Their video entitled “All Bacon Burger – Epic Meal Time” features many overt allusions to masculinity and its association with meat products. The video series is run by several large, white, bearded men often glaring at the camera with stern faces and this video is no exception. The host, Harley Morenstein, is the most physically intimidating, sports the largest beard and yells at the camera for the duration of the video, echoing masculine themes of strength, aggression, hair growth and dominance.
Most videos center around meat-based foods and this one in particular is composed primarily of close-up shots of hands-on meat preparation, shots of bacon and beef and gratuitous imagery of men eating the enormous bacon burger after its completion. The series’ logo of a skull and two knives, another masculine symbol of violence and aggression, is worn by three of the four men in this episode. This video, and the series at large, is a blatant example of Western culture’s association of white masculinity with meat consumption. A web series centered on preparing and consuming comically unhealthy and enormous meat-based “meals” relies upon the most direct symbols of masculinity.

Manly Dwarves Want Meat

Three years ago, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released in theaters.  This adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkein's popular fantasy novel has severable memorable scenes, but one that immediately comes to mind is when the Dwarves stay in the elven city of Rivendell.

During their quest to reclaim their homeland, a company of Dwarves find themselves at the hospitality of Elves.  As guests in the city, the Dwarves are offered food and wine - which they readily accept - only to find salads and fruits on the table.  "Where's the meat?" asks the warrior Dwalin as he lifts a lovely salad out of his bowl. They even complain about the relaxing flute and harp music, instead opting to break out into a hearty tavern song.

It is interesting to note that Dwarves and Elves are known to be spiteful towards each other and disapprove of each other's practices.  Fictional these races may be, it's evident that the Dwarves are portrayed as masculine due to their warlike and meat-eating nature, while the Elves are rather effeminate and prefer to eat vegetables.  In fact, a male Elf was mistaken as a female by a member of the company.  This parallels Adam's theory of vegetables being feminine.  Even more so, the meat eating Dwarves are much more joyous and break out into song and toss food about, yet the Elves simply look on in disdain.  This scene of the Dwarves antics can be tied into Adam's reflection on the vegetable being a symbol of passivity and meat-eating societies being considered as virile.

Prompt #2

For this week's post (due by next Friday), I would like you all to look at contemporary representations of wolves or werewolves in popular media (so movies, tv shows, books, commercials, ads, etc.). Choose one specific example that catches your interest. Analyze the manner in which wolves/werewolves are represented and compare it to their depiction in "Bisclavret." How do you see the manner in which contemporary humans conceptualize their relationship to wolves, and, by extension, other animals, differing from what you see in "Bisclavret"? Are there any similarities? How is the boundary  between animal and human perceived? Has it shifted? Feel free to bring in the Seth article, if it will help you make your argument more effectively.

Two paragraphs minimum for this one. One for analyzing the text you chose, and one for thinking through how it compares to "Bisclavret."

Salad is Feminine

In the analysis of gender-related discrimination in the food industry, I observed the idea of eating salad is a female idea. I typed in "eating salad" on Google images ( and 80-95% of the pictures of eating salad are women. The objectification that women eat salad parallels with the argument in "The Sexual Politics of Meat" that vegetables and fruit are feminine. There are only a few pictures on Google images that show men eating salad, but is signified as looking feminine or weak. There is also an interesting aspect of women eating salad are happy. It can imply that eating salad makes one happy or satisfies one's appetite on what makes a woman happy on what she can eat. All these things can connect to the gender objectification of food and how it causes the viewpoint that people who eat salad are women and how they cause them to be happier when eating.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sexism in Fast Food Advertisements

"The Sexual Politics of Meat" helps to reveal and unravel this common, and often overlooked, stereotype that meat is for the man, and that this idea has lead to the practice of objectifying women to entice the man. Carl's Jr., Arby's, and Burger King. These three fast food companies, as well as many others, objectify women in their advertising to sell to men. Fast food, namely hamburgers/sandwiches with meat, are mainly being advertised towards men. Carl's Jr. uses the sex appeal of a beautiful scantily clad woman on a beach holding a burger. Arby's uses the innuendo of a woman holding tow burgers (her breasts) promising the reader of the advertisement something they can "drool over." Lastly, Burger King also uses an innuendo, saying that their "super seven incher" will "blow your mind away," advertising an extremely over sexualized image of a wide-mouthed, wide-eyed woman. However this is not the extent of sexualized meat advertisement in the realm of the fast food business, there are many other offenders.

Where's the Beef?: What was Wendy's trying to do with their commercial?

One of the most famous commercials from the 1980s was a Wendy's commercial, where three old women are staring puzzled at a hamburger questioning the lack of meat. In class, we discussed how meat is often advertised to men because of the masculine history the food has, but in this commercial, the focus isn't on big strong men, but instead three frail and elderly women. Why? How is gendering present in this commercial?

First, recognize that the three elderly women are not with the product that needs advertising, instead it is the opposition's burger. By placing the elderly women with it, they make the lack of meat seem feminine and weak, even less than that since the old women are asking where is the meat. These elderly women have more of a sense of masculinity than that hamburger. Meanwhile, Wendy's hamburger has a male narrator talking over it, explaining why it is superior. The burger is given masculinity by this narrator and it's quantity of meat, two things that the other burger lacks. Instead of using masculinity as the selling point like so many other commercials surrounding meat, it instead uses frail femininity as the enemy. Another way commercials use gendering, if in a slightly more subtle way.

Research study shows vegetarian men are less macho

Research study shows vegetarian men are less macho

In a study done by the University of British Columbia (2010), researchers found that omnivorous and vegetarian participants had perceived vegetarians to have a stronger sense of virtue and morality than meat-eaters. However, men who are vegetarian were also viewed as less masculine than men who do eat meat. This perspective was supported by both vegetarians and women. In this same study, women's "masculinity" rating did not differ based on their dietary status.

I found this article interesting because they pooled in hundreds of participants. It is compelling to acknowledge that men, and not women, were seen to be weak based on if they eat meat or not. I think this is ironic because many can agree that giving up meat as a daily source of food is a hard sacrifice to make. We live in a culture that is heavily carnivorous. So I believe that it takes a lot of strength to to be vegetarian in our current culture. Nevertheless, when it comes to masculinity, society might not define it as an inner strength but associate it as more of an outer strength. When I think of masculinity, I do admit that my first thought goes to the physicality of what a "real" man looks rather than what he do. I think the reason for this is because men who are meat-eaters are often personified as bulkier, rugged, and hunter kinda guy. Therefore, I believe that this issue of meat and sexuality is a problem where we need to redefine a healthier and representative meaning to the word "masculine".

Meat Eaters Try Fake Meat 

      In the video, a few participants were tested to see if they could taste difference in "fake" meat. All of the participants agreed that if a food item was not meat it was not good. They had a variety of foods including veggie hot dogs, a Wendy's crispy sandwich, a chicken strip, and a veggie chickin' sandwich. It was interesting to watch that if a male identify something healthy like the chicken strip they did not want to it. One of the males described the chicken strip by stating that it was trying to fool him into believing that it was meat. Another participant stated, "look I am a grown man and this kind of makes me nervous" and refused to eat it.
    When the participants tried the veggie chickin' sandwich, all of them thought it was meat. "It's chicken, it taste like chicken."  The participants agreed that the food had the same texture and had the tasted of meat.It was interesting to see their reactions because most of them were surprised that indeed it was not meat; the participants were disappointed because when they discovered it was not meat. Even after they discovered that it wasn't meat one of the participants stated "I let America down, sorry fellow meat eaters."
     Something that I found interesting was that the guy at the end of the video said that he had let America down because he as the man was supposed to detect meat. Although there were two females in the video, most of the participants were male. I felt that this video targeted a male audience to test men meat eaters.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Fish are friends not food." - Bruce

Disney and Pixar's Finding Nemo is about a father who goes on an epic journey in search of his taken son. The father, Marlin, is a timid clown fish who pushes his fears aside to bring his son, Nemo, back home. Nemo is taken captive by a dentist and is supposed to be a gift to the dentist's niece, Darla.

The antagonists in the story are humans. We don't really see how having pets is a bad thing. This movie gives us some insight on what animals possibly think when we take one of their own and separate them from their family; animals have feelings and we should acknowledge them. Animals are not mere objects for people's personal gain. The movie also shows a lot of human character and personality traits in animals, such as companionship and stubbornness. Finding Nemo makes the viewers empathize with Marlin after his lost and we cannot help but to cheer for him on his mission.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Only Manly Men Eat Meat

(Link to article)

In the article from Daily Mail, researchers have found out men who eat meat believe they appear more manly than men who do not eat meat. This is because meat is associated with 'manhood, power, and virility'.

Men who choose to eat meat say that meat is too delicious to not eat. This goes back to historic times when men did all the hunting and depended on meaty protein in their diets. In a way, to this current day, they have this natural sense of needing meat.

I was surprised to read that female vegetarians saw men who do not consume any meat to be less manly than those who worship and devour meat on a daily basis. I would assume that women would appreciate the fact that there were men who were manly enough to not eat meat.

There is obviously a divide between men and women and meat consumption. Men are obligated to eat meat in order to portray the image of a manly man. Most men would want to be seen as manly as possible so they might be pressured to eat meat to prove they are not 'wimps'.

Gendering of Meat in Burger King Commercial

"I'm A Man" - Burger King

The commercial begins with the man receiving  a small portion of meatless food, which is apparently enough for the woman he is with, but not enough for him which is why he proceeds to get up and leave to get "real" food. On his way out of the restaurant, he grabs what appears to be some sort of vegetable off of the server's plate and proceeds to sing "..and I'm way too hungry to settle for chick food...", implying that he believes vegetables are for women.

He proceeds to make his way to Burger King, where he is joined by many other men, to get a burger. In one of the verses they sing:

                                                       "Oh, yes, I'm a guy! 
                                                  I'll admit I've been fed quiche! 
                                                        Wave tofu bye-bye! 
                                              Now it's for Whopper beef I reach. "

As they are singing this verse, we can see a man disgustedly push away his meal, which appears to be a salad - once again showing that a meatless meal isn't manly. The crowd of men becomes even larger, and all throughout the video you can see signs that say "EAT THIS MEAT" and "I AM MAN".

The video ends with a voice over that says "The cheesy bacon XXL. Eat like a man, man", once again implying that for a male to be considered a man, he must eat meat.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Prompt #1

For your blog posts this week, I would like you all to respond to the excerpt from Carol Adams' "The Sexual Politics of Meat" you read for today. Adams asserts that meat and meat-eating are associated with masculinity, while vegetarianism is gendered as feminine. Find an example of a commercial, ad, clip, news article, etc. where this gendering of meat/vegetables is made evident, and construct an analysis of it.

As an alternative, you could also respond to Berger's "Why Look at Animals?" by choosing an example of a modern representation of an animal (a picture, a stuffed animal, in a movie, etc.) and analyze the implications of how it is being represented. What does it tell you about how this animal is being perceived and packaged for its human viewers?

These are suggestions, although you do have the option to respond to any of the readings--so long as your post directly takes up the ideas articulated in them.