Affiliate Member, Lynda Korimboccus, recently investigated attitudinal and behavioural contradictions that result in Peppa Pig fans oblivious to the direct connections between their favourite TV character and a ham salad sandwich.
The ‘Peppa Pig Paradox’ developed from Loughnan et al’s 2010 ‘meat paradox’ – that is, the idea that people say they love animals but also love eating animals. In many cases, people have simply been taught to categorise animals differently: as ‘food’ or as ‘pets’, for example. She aimed to apply this where the same species is considered in two contradictory ways: The Peppa Pig Paradox. She considers whether Peppa Pig simply reflects human society in pig form through anthropomorphism (Mills 2017); whether negative pig metaphors skew our views (Goatly 2006) and our use of the language we learn allows us to distance ourselves (Plous 1993); or whether it simply the application of denialism, or ‘strategic ignorance’ (Onwezen & van der Weele 2016) that has so far failed to make the connection impossible to ignore.
The social influences upon us are strong and powerful – from family, peers and education through media, government and business – and we’d be forgiven for not seeing the obvious up until now. However, animal eating is a normalised practice at risk from an increase in plant-based eating and Lynda encourages vegan parents to become familiar with both moral and nutritional arguments for this in preparation for the inevitable challenges. She urges non-vegan parents to face their fear of change and embrace the plant-based revolution – not just for their children’s health, but their future environment as well as the lives of millions of non-human animals worldwide. Hopefully, all Peppa Pig fans will one day be vegan, but meantime, it’s vital to raise awareness of inconsistency and help others make connections to overcome their strategic, or ‘pig’ ignorance.
Full article (including references):
Korimboccus, L.M. (2020). ‘Pig-Ignorant: The Peppa Pig Paradox: Investigating Contradictory Childhood Consumption.’ Journal for Critical Animal Studies 17(5): 3-33.
Lynda M. Korimboccus is an affiliate member of the IAVS and serves as Student Editor-in-Chief for the Student Journal of Vegan Sociology.