Meat Animals, Humane Standards, & Other Legal Fictions

David N. Cassuto

Pace University - School of Law

July 17, 2012

Law, Culture & Humanities, 2012

Law and food are distinct concepts, though the discipline (Law and Food) implies a relationship worthy of study. The conjunction (“and”) creates meaning. However, its absence also conveys meaning. For example, “meat animal” suggests that animals can be both meat and animal. This conflation has powerful legal implications. National Meat Association v. Harris (2012) makes chillingly plain the law’s indifference to whether a meat animal is alive or dead. This essay examines the way supposedly humane federal practices ignore the systematic brutalization of “food animals” as those animals get processed into marketable flesh. It concludes with some observations about why this legal blindness exists.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 12

Keywords: National Meat Association v. Harris, humane standards, meat animal, industrial agriculture, National Meat Inspection Act, preemption, Supreme Court, law & food, food law, animal law

JEL Classification: D18, H51, K10, K19, K23, K30, K32, K39, L66, L79, N50, Q10, Q18, Q28, R38, Z00

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: July 18, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Cassuto, David N., Meat Animals, Humane Standards, & Other Legal Fictions (July 17, 2012). Law, Culture & Humanities, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2111455

Contact Information

David N. Cassuto (Contact Author)
Pace University - School of Law ( email )
78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,702
Downloads: 377
Download Rank: 59,851