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Food, Literature, Philosophy Renan Larue

Comp Lit 186 FL 5320 (5321) Phelps Hall
Spring 2016
Arts 1353 Office hours:
Wednesday, 2-4:50pm Tuesday & Thursday, 2-3pm


Veganism is a growing movement that opposes animal suffering and promotes
environmental sustainability. More and more people in the US, especially in
California, are adopting a plant-based diet. This course will discuss vegetarianism
and veganism: their underlying claims, their philosophical roots and history, their
treatment in literature and the media, and ultimately their stakes in our
contemporary world.

Though the consumption of meat and animal products is a subject that may at
first appear insignificant, the questions raised by this topic are actually profound
and concern multiple fields of knowledge ranging from theology to medicine,
anthropology, psychology, sociology, economics, ecology, law, and moral
philosophy: Haven't humans evolved to eat meat? Should animals have rights? Is
the slaughter and consumption of animals sanctioned by religion? How, if at all, does
animal oppression relate to the oppression of women or minority groups? What are
the consequences of animal farming on the environment? Is a vegan world a utopian
fantasy or a crucial next step in the evolution of human society?


1 March 30 Introduction

2 April 6 Anthropocentrism and Its Enemies

- Optional: watch Planet of the Apes by Franklin J. Schaffner (1968)
3 April 13 Veganism and Religion (I):
- Guest speaker: Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz: Judaism and Veganism
- Gandhis vegetarianism (Hinduism, Jainism and non-violence)
- Optional Reading: Genesis
4 April 20 Veganism and Religion (II): Christianity
- Jesus, the Church and Meat
- Student presentation 1: Animal Gospel by Andrew Linzey
- Required Reading: Selections from the New Testament (Gospels, Acts,
Corinthians, Timothy, Titus)
5 April 27 History of Vegetarianism/Veganism
- Student presentation 2: The Vegetarian Crusade by Adam P. Shprintzen
- Student presentation 3: The History of the Vegan Society
- Optional Reading: A Vindication of Natural Diet by Percy Shelley
6 May 4 Animals and Justice: Do They Have Rights?
- Student presentation 4: Animals Rights by Henry Salt
- Student presentation 5: Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
- Student presentation 6: The Case for Animal Rights by Tom Regan
- Required Reading: Animal Rights by David DeGrazia
7 May 11 Veganism and Utopia (or Dystopia?)
- Student presentation 7: Fruitlands by Richard Francis
- Student presentation 8: Zoopolis by W. Kymlicka and S. Donaldson
- Optional Reading: selections from Metamorphoses by Ovid
8 May 18 On Human and Animal Oppression
- Guest speaker: Carol J. Adams: The Sexual Politics of Meat
- Student presentation 9: Dangerous Crossings by Claire Jean Kim
- Student presentation 10: Nature Ethics by Marti Kheel
- Optional Reading: Sistah Vegan by A. Breeze Harper
9 May 25 Veganism and sustainability
- Guest speaker: Prof. David Cleveland: Balancing on a Planet
- Student presentation 11: The Ecological Hoofprint by Tony Weis
- Student presentation 12: The Modern Savage by James McWilliams
- Optional: watch Cowspiracy by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn (2014)
10 June 1 Veganism and Literature
- Student presentation 13: The First Step by Leo Tolstoy
- Student presentation 14: The Lives of Animals by J. M. Coetzee
- Required Reading: Elizabeth Costello by J. M. Coetzee


Attendance/participation: 10%

Attendance is mandatory. Participation is strongly encouraged.

Reading Quizzes: 25%

New Testament (Gospels, Acts, Corinthians, Timothy, Titus)
David DeGRAZIA. Animal Rights. Oxford: OUP, 2002
J. M. COETZEE. Elizabeth Costello. New York: Penguin, 2003

Quizzes on the above texts will be given during sessions 4, 6, and 10.

Other readings are optional; but students are strongly encouraged to read them.

Presentation: 25%

10% - presentation form (clarity, efficiency, quality of the slides, etc.)
15% - content

Each student is required to give a short presentation during the course (20-25
minutes). The presentations will be given by groups of 3 to 4 students. Topics will
be selected from one of fourteen topics listed in the schedule below. The professor
will take into consideration the content as well as the effort made by the students to
provide a clear and efficient presentation to their fellow students. The use of slides
(e.g. PowerPoint) is not required, but encouraged.

Essay: 40%

10% Essay plan (justification, outline, bibliography) 2-3 pages (due May 11)
30% Final essay 2500-3000 words (due June 5)

Students may choose their own topic for the essay, but it must be related to
vegetarianism, veganism, carnism, speciesism or animal ethics. Interdisciplinary
approaches are appreciated but not mandatory. Each student is required to send a
plan of the essay including a justification of the chosen topic, an outline, and an
annotated bibliography before May 11. The required length of the plan is 2-3 pages.

The essay must be emailed by June 5, 11:59pm to

Please provide a two-inch margin on the left to give room for comments.


Carol J. ADAMS. The Sexual Politics of Meat. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015.
Living Among Meat Eaters. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2008.
Alan BEARDSWORTH and Teresa KEIL. The vegetarian option: Varieties,
Conversions, Motives and Careers. Sociological Review (1992), 40(2) p. 253-93.
Rob BODDICE. Anthropocentrism. Humans, Animals, Environments. Boston: Brill,
David CLEVELAND. Balancing on a Planet. The Future of Food and Agriculture.
Oakland: UC Press, 2013.
J. M. Coetzee. Elizabeth Costello. New York: Penguin, 2003.
The Lives of Animals. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.
Winston J. CRAIG and Ann Reed MANGELS. Position of the American Dietetic
Association : Vegetarian Diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July
2009, 109 (7), p. 1266-82.
lise DESAULNIERS and Martin GIBERT. Carnism. Paul B. THOMPSON and David
M. KAPLAN (dir.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. New York: Springer,
David DEGRAZIA. Animal Rights. A Very Short Introduction by David DeGrazia,
Oxford: OUP, 2002.
Jared DIAMOND. Collapse. New York: Penguin, 2011.
Sue DONALDSON and Will KYMLICKA. Zoopolis. Oxford: OUP, 2011.
Norbert ELIAS. The Civilizing Process. Malden: Blackwell, 2000.
Jonathan Safran FOER. Eating Animals. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2009
Gary FRANCIONE. Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? Philadelphia:
Temple, 2000.
Richard FRANCIS. Fruitlands. The Alcott Family and their Search for Utopia. New
Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.
A. Breeze HARPER. Sistah Vegan. Brooklyn: Lantern Books, 2009.
Hans JONAS. The Imperative of Responsibility. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
Melanie JOY. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. San Francisco: Conari
Press, 2010.
Marti KHEEL. Nature Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perpective. Lanham: Rowman &
Littlefield, 2008.
Claire Jean KIM. Dangerous Crossings. Race, Species, and Nature in a Multicultural
Age. Cambridge: CUP, 2015
Renan LARUE. Le Vgtarisme et ses ennemis. Paris: Puf. 2015.
Andrew LINZEY, Animal Gospel, Louisville, Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.
Animal Theology, London: SCM Press, 1994.
Steve LOUGHNAN, et al., The Psychology of Eating Animals, Current Directions in
Psychological Science, 2014 (23), p. 104-108.
James McWILLIAMS. The Modern Savage. New York: St. Martins Griffin, 2015
Mary MIDGLEY. Animals and Why They Matter. Athens: University of Georgia Press,
Julia A. MINSON and Benot MONIN. Do-gooder Derogation: Disparaging Morally
Motivated Minorities to Defuse Anticipated Reproach , Social Psychological and
Personality Science, 2012 (3), p. 200-207.
Michael POLLAN. Omnivores Dilemma. New York: Penguin, 2006.
Rod PREECE. Sins of the Flesh. Vancouver-Toronto: UBC Press, 2008.
Tom REGAN. The Case for Animal Rights. Oakland: UC Press, 2004.
Matthew B. RUBY. Vegetarianism. A Blossoming Field of Study. Appetite, 2012
(58), p. 141-50.
Adam P. SHPRINTZEN. The Vegetarian Crusade. The Rise of An American Reform
Movement. 1817-1921. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.
Peter SINGER. Animal Liberation. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
Gary STEINER. Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents. Pittsburg: University of
Pittsburg Press, 2005.
Matthew R. RUBY. Vegetarianism. A blossoming field of Study. Appetite, 2012 (58),
p. 141-50.
Henry SALT. The Logic of Vegetarianism. Essays and Dialogues, Whitefish, Kessinger,
Animals' Rights: Considered in Relation to Social Progress. London: Society for
Animal Rights, 1980.
Leo Tolstoy. The First Step. Manchester. Broadbent, 1900. Edition available online:
Tony WEIS. The Ecological Hoofprint. London: Zed Books, 2013.
Laura WRIGHT. The Vegan Studies Project. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015.
Shmuly YANKLOWITZ. The Jewish Vegan. S. Yanklowitz, 2015.