Why do we find it necessary to slaughter living animals in order to enjoy their flesh? And why does this act offend our sensibilities, without necessarily making us into vegetarians? In her study of abattoirs in southwest France, Nolie Vialles brings to light a complex system of avoidances. Her analysis reveals that beyond the specific denial of the work of the abattoirs lies a whole system of symbolic representations of blood, human beings and animals, a symbolic code that determines the way in which we prepare domestic animals for the table.
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