Between food and flesh: How animals are made to matter (and not matter) within food consumption practices

A.B. Evans, M. Miele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary European consumers find themselves at an interesting point in history with regards to their relationships with animals. On the one hand there has been a growth in the acknowledgement of animal sentience, yet on the other hand, largely unabated, we continue to farm, kill, and eat animals for food. In this paper we contend that these ambiguities are played out within everyday embodied practices of preparing, eating, and shopping for food. We begin our account by outlining a novel performative approach to food consumption practices, which we have termed `food sensing', and we contend that every act of sensing food is always already an act of making sense of food. This approach allows us to examine the complex interplay between material and symbolic dimensions of food consumption practices. Throughout the paper we draw on this notion of food sensing, IN conjunction with empirical material taken from forty-eight focus group discussions conducted across seven European countries, to shed new light on the ways in which farm animals are made to matter(and not matter) within food consumption practices
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-314
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

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  • animal welfare
  • food consumption
  • embodied practices
  • relational ethicsdoi:10.1068/d12810

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