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A Vegan Form of Life

  • Robert McKay
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)

Abstract

Reflecting on a moment when a vegan meal was presented to him as “lesbian food,” McKay’s essay critiques the concept of “species,” drawing on Judith Butler’s deconstruction of the sex/gender opposition. Social life, he argues, is shaped by “compulsory humanity,” a disposition in which species functions as a regulatory ideal rather than a biological essence. McKay works this critical stance into a positive description of being vegan by turning to Wittgenstein’s concept of the “form of life,” and the way his thought has been developed in relation to animal ethics. McKay’s claim is that thinking of veganism as a form of life allows for making sense of the profound form of identification with others that it expresses, evading and challenging the very notion of being human.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert McKay
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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