Beastly Politics: Derrida, Animals, and the Political Economy of Meat

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech Publishing


In this essay, I employ Derridas analysis of carnophallogocentrism in Eating Well, or the Calculation of the Subject_x0094_ and beastly politics in The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1 to bring to view the carnivorism that drives contemporary politics and capitalist society. Via careful explication of Derridas ideas and elaboration of his canonical analyses, especially Plato, Hobbes, and Machiavelli, I hope to show how Derridas discussions of animals and politics offer an intriguing perspective with which to augment a Marxian analysis of the political economy of meat. Overall, I contend that when viewed in relation to the political economy of meat, Derridas analyses reveal the irrational, ideological, and fetishized functions of the carnivorous center of politics and point to the potential shortcomings of theoretical strategies that do not directly confront the capitalist framework that sustains the beastly politics of contemporary liberalism and neoliberalism.




Young, K.E., 2015. Beastly Politics: Derrida, Animals, and the Political Economy of Meat. Spectra, 4(2). DOI: