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Interporc: lobbies and suppression of compassion (TFG)

Interporc: lobbies and suppression of compassion (TFG)

This TFG by Maddalena Pongan, an Advertising and Public Relations (UPF) student, is supervised by Núria Almiron (CritiCC) as part of the REACT Lab project, working on one of the objectives of the COMPASS research project (Lobbying and Compassion. Interest groups, discourse and nonhuman animals in Spain). 




The meat industry is built on the systematic exploitation and oppression of animals, causing them enormous physical and psychological suffering. How can this suffering conciliate with the natural compassionate tendency of human beings? Various philosophers consider compassion towards other beings (both human or non-human) as a basic and fundamental moral attitude in our society. Sociologists and psychologists studied the social dynamics and cognitive processes that lead to the suppression of compassion towards certain individuals or groups of individuals.

Particularly, in the case of animals, it has been theorizedthat the lack of compassion relies upon an ideology called carnism. The objective of this study is to identify the communication strategies put in place by Spanish meat lobbies to suppress the feeling of compassion towards animals. To do so I studied the case of Interporc, the largest pork lobby in Spain. As regards to the methodology, it consists of qualitative research, based on the critical analysis of the discourse of two articles published online by the lobby. The results of the analysis have led to the conclusion that the lobby draws on strategies such as the objectification of animals or the normalization of the exploitative system in order to curb compassion. In addition, the conclusions interpret Interporc's welfarist position as an attempt to whitewash the industry’s image in the eyes of the public.

Keywords: lobby, compassion, carnism, critical discourse analysis, animal welfare





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