What is Carnism?

Carnism is the invisible belief system that conditions us to eat certain animals. When eating animals is not necessary for survival, which is the case in much of the world today, it is a choice – and choices always stem from beliefs.

Most people care about animals and don’t want to harm them, and yet many of us consume animals on a regular basis without giving thought to why we eat certain animals but not others, or to the impact of our food choices on those we consume. Our choice to eat animals remains largely unexamined because carnism is an institutionalized “ism” that shapes social norms and individual preferences, and it operates outside of our awareness.

Eating animals has profound consequences for other beings, the environment, and ourselves, and to be conscientious consumers we must be aware of both the impacts of our food choices and the belief system that has guided these choices. Understanding carnism can enable us to make our food choices more freely, because without awareness, there is no free choice.


The mission of the task force is to raise awareness of where our food comes from, so that we can make better choices about what we eat.

Goals of the Task Force

The Ethical Eating Task Force strives to raise awareness about where our food comes from, so that we all can become better and more humane consumers. The task force is developing a list of stores and suppliers that offer fruits and vegetables that, when possible, are grown locally and are certified organic.

The task force operates as a resource to our congregation and the greater community by providing educational materials and encouraging others to make better choices. Ethical eating is also about supply and demand. If consumers demand that the food they eat is grown locally and free from pesticides, herbicides and additives then suppliers will be forced to meet that demand.

The task force monitors legislation that can adversely impact the humane treatment of farmed animals, and takes appropriate action as needed to voice our concerns with legislators and the media.