HUMANE FOOD POLICIES TAKE ROOT
IN ANIMAL STUDIES CONFERENCES
And just what do you think these conferences might have on the menu for their hungry lifelong learners? Well in the case of the "All Things Great and Small" conference at the University of California - Davis, it was an all-vegan, four-day foodie extravaganza. Every morning featured a gourmet assortment of muffins and pastries. Lunch included soups, sandwiches, and fruit. As for break time - coffee and cake!
In his introductory welcome, conference organizer Ted Geier, put the event and the food offerings into context -
We’re here to talk about all sorts of things. And we’re going to see some things. And we’re going to hear some things. And we’re going to eat some things. No animals for the weekend though—we’ve gone all vegan because that is a powerful commitment to the lives of animals as animals and as lives that does not in any way, through any rationale, encroach upon their lively animacy. A welfare defense of using animals for food or other purposes still has at its core the claim that animal wellbeing matters—makes a difference beyond obligatory inter-human politicking. And so we want to be mindful of that claim on welfare and try on for size what welfare-all-the-way, beyond and after WELFARE, might look (and taste) like.