Communicating Vegan Utopias: The Counterfactual Construction of Human-animal Futures

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Industrialized animal agriculture reveals human-animal relations defined by routinized, institutionalized violence on a staggering scale. Despite greater public recognition of these issues, consumption of meat and other products from industrially processed animals continues to rise globally. This article responds to an ongoing need to consider unexplored sites in research addressing challenges to “meat culture” and the promotion of alternatives. To this end, it examines the film Carnage, about a future vegan utopia, as a distinctive artistic intervention. It is analyzed as a unique example of the construction of counterfactual futures – the practice of imagining the potential impact of hypothetical events on future scenarios. It is claimed that Carnage reflects potential advances in effective animal advocacy, and further innovation in artistic, cultural and methodological interventions that can enliven campaigning repertoires of rhetorical strategies, discursive and narrative frames.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-138
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


  • carnism
  • speciesism
  • human-animal studies
  • veganism
  • meat
  • counterfactual
  • Critical Animal Studies
  • Animal studies
  • utopia
  • human-animal relations
  • narrative
  • Carnism
  • slaughter


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