Animalogy Podcast
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The Semantics of Meat (with Paul Shapiro)


Semantics play a significant role in shaping public perception about animals and animal welfare. The meat, dairy, and egg industries go to great lengths to remove harsh terminology and replace it with euphemisms that conceal the truth and sanitize violence. In today’s episode, I talk to someone who knows this all too well: Paul Shapiro, Vice President of Policy at The Humane Society of the United States. Join us as we discuss euphemisms and doublespeak used by animal agriculture and the best terms for plant-based and cultured meat. 

Supporters receive an additional conversation with Paul once the interview ended.

In This Episode

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and Paul Shapiro talk about the semantics and euphemisms in the meat, dairy, and egg industries.

  • The animal agriculture industry trade journals Paul reads and why he finds it valuable
  • Specific euphemisms and what they hide 
  • What to call plant-based meats and the effect of using the word “fake” and “faux” to refer to them
  • What to call the new wave of lab-grown meat: “Cultured”? “Clean”? “Humane”?

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Thank you! For the animals,

  • Geoff Stanger

    Great series of podcasts. I particularly enjoyed the discussions around perceptions, and how the things we say affect the way we think. Looking forward to a day when ‘fake’ and ‘faux’ words are no longer necessary because the positive/negative connotations are reversed. Also, because meat actually revolts me, I’m on the fence with the synthesised meat thing, but of course it has to be a great thing for animal welfare. Maybe in my lifetime animal exploitation for food actually will be a thing of the past. Bring it on!

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