Clement Charles

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February 28th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Claude Lévi-Strauss on meat

“A day will come where the idea that, to feed themselves, men of the past did breed and massacre living being to then expose indulgently tatters of their flesh in shop windows will inspire, undoubtedly, the same repulsion than the ones inspired to XVI and XVII travelers by cannibalistic meals of the american, ocean or african savages.”

I wanted to share a very important quote with from Claude Lévi-Strauss  was a French anthropologist and ethnologist, and has been called, along with James George Frazer and Franz Boas, the “father of modern anthropology”. The work of Lévi-Strauss was also key in the development of the theory of structuralism and structural anthropology.

His famous quote on the vegetarian future of our species is great, as it reflect the natural and necessary path of change. In the same ways that civilization without wheels could not imagine the train networks, we now getting out of a civilization of the “necessary death” (death is normal, thus if I destroy life, it’s not my fault) towards the one of an “exhaustive and consequential liability” (I should harm any one if I know I am creating harm and can avoid this harms easily). On a more global level, it is reflected in the fact that mankind  – as a whole – and humans – as individuals – cannot blind themselves any more of the consequences of their actions, on both global and local level, on both moral and environmental levels.

The original quote in French is below.

“Un jour viendra où l’idée que, pour se nourrir, les hommes du passé élevaient et massacraient des êtres vivants et exposaient complaisamment leur chair en lambeaux dans des vitrines, inspirera sans doute la même répulsion qu’aux voyageurs du XVIème ou du XVIIème siècle, les repas cannibales des sauvages américains, océaniens ou africains“.




One Response to “Claude Lévi-Strauss on meat”
  1. […] on why I hardly see any civilized future is not vegetarian if not vegan, I want to remind you the exciting quote from anthropology pioneer Claude Levy Strauss that I shared and translated in a previous […]

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