“The Meat Licence Proposal: proposing ‘law’ as a creative medium” presented by O’Shea


Session Title:

  • Posthumanism I

Presentation Title:

  • The Meat Licence Proposal: proposing ‘law’ as a creative medium




  • Abstract

    The vast majority of individuals in the U.K. would not be comfortable killing an animal. (It is often remarked that the U.K. is a nation of ‘animal-lovers’.) However, a large proportion of those same individuals choose to eat meat: herein lies an uneasy, ethical, inconsistency. It is not the case that individuals do not have a clear knowledge or understanding of the origins of this substance, ‘meat,’ (in which the act of killing is implicit). Instead, I suggest, the distance between the actual process of slaughter and, an often plastic wrapped, bloodless, product is wide enough to allow individuals to temporarily ‘forget’ their squeamish reservations and thus proceed to consume the ‘fruits’ of a labour they themselves would be unwilling to take part in: This forgetting entails a gesture of what is called fetishist disavowel: ‘I know, but I
    don’t want to know that I know, so I don’t know.’ I know it, but I refuse to fully assume the consequences of this knowledge, so that I can continue acting as if I don’t know it. (Zizek 2008: 46)

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