ANIMAL SUFFERING AND TREATMENT OF WOMEN IN RUTH OZEKI?S MY YEAR OF MEATS

Abstract

Author(s): Bar?? A?IR

My Year of Meats (1998), Japanese-American novelist Ruth Ozeki’s first novel, follows the parallel but converging storylines of two ethnic Japanese women: Jane Takaki Little, an American television producer, and Akiko Ueno, an ordinary Japanese housewife. Through the intricate description of their experiences and psychological changes, Ozeki discusses the broader situation facing not only women but also non-human animals in meat-eating societies. Ozeki greatly criticizes from the standpoint of her strong feminist consciousness and ecological awareness the similar oppression of women and animals. In this respect, this paper analyzes the victimization of the bodies of both animals and women in Ozeki’s novel. Use of hormones and unqualified feed in husbandry have greatly damaged animals’ health, while the severe living environment and the assembly-line slaughtering process aggravate their conditions. Meanwhile, women suffer the threats to their health of dangerous hormone treatments under fertility pressure and domestic violence from the husbands who are their ostensible patriarchal. This article adopts a vegetarian ecofeminist reading of the novel to show how Ozeki portrayes both women and animals as victims of patriarchal abusive in a meat-eating society.

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