Global Warming, Health and the Animal Industry. A Critical Discourse Analysis of Advertisements from the Animal Industry in EU after the Reports by WHO, FAO and IPCC

University essay from Malmö högskola/Fakulteten för kultur och samhälle (KS)

Abstract: IPCC, WHO and FAO have recently published reports connecting the animal industry with Global warming, cancer and 70% of modern diseases. In fact, IPCC (2014) indicated that the greatest potential for reducing emissions is placed on the consumer’s level. For this context, grounded in concepts of the Foucauldian Discourse Analysis and the Compositional Analysis (Rose, 2001) this study analyzed a series of advertisements issued in the period after the reports (2013-2015). The analysis was guided by three central questions: (1) Which linguistic and visual approaches, as well as their organization and strategies applied in the discourse, is the Animal Industry using in the construction of their advertisements and how they react to this moment of crises? (2) Considering Barthes ́ approach of food as symbols containing a communicational construction, what are the meanings built around animal products understood from the perspective of discourse? (3) How is the Animal Industry positioning themselves towards audiences and culture and what functions are they giving to themselves in society? Following a political theoretical framework, the proposition that the animal commodification is an ideology affirmed in western societies will be discussed. Advertisements from seven enterprises of the Animal Industry in EU will be used, selected for having leading positions in their sectors (meat and dairy). Among the results, it was verified that the relation toward human interaction is the major enunciator in the advertisements. The following lines of enunciation were identified: example and empathy; imperative discourses; tradition. The enunciations of meat have emotional basis; while the constructions around dairy focuses on the western representation of archaic nature (Haraway, 1989). The denotative qualities of the foods where very little considered. The political and ethical questions around the animal products were absent. This study focuses on the necessity of a political and critical approach of the marketing strategies of the Animal Industry. KEY WORDS: Animal Industry, Global Warming, Discourse Analysis, Foucault

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