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Language, Power and the Social Construction of Animals

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This paper describes how language contributes to the oppression and exploitation of animals by animal product industries. Critical Discourse Analysis, a framework usually applied in countering racism and sexism, is applied to a corpus of texts taken from animal industry sources. The mass confinement and slaughter of animals in intensive farms depend on the implicit consent of the population, signaled by its willingness to buy animal products produced in this way. Ideological assumptions embedded in everyday discourse and that of the animal industries manufacture and maintain this consent. Through analysis of texts, this paper attempts to expose these assumptions and discusses implications for countering the domination and exploitation of animals.


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