This article considers the fraught nature of meat analogs, colloquially known as “mock meats” (such as Tofurky, facon, Veat, soysage, and so on). Meat analogs offer up a semiotic and ethical provocation—an uneasy and unsettling one for some, a comforting and nostalgic one for others—through their aspiration to “meatiness.” As these parodic foodstuffs in their naming make apparent, mock meats are unable to escape what Derrida refers to as the West’s privileging of “carno-phallogocentrism,” where in dietary terms meat remains the preferred point of reference. Drawing upon media stories, advertising, and promotional material from mock meat manufacturers, this article examines the ambivalence and signifying fuzziness of meat analogs in relation to larger debates about consumption and food ethics.

You do not currently have access to this content.