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Sahnhar lecture 6

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  • 1. Neil McPherson
    Society & Human/Nonhuman
    Animal Relations (SOCY10015)
    Lecture 6: The nonhuman animal as pet and food
    “The relationship with pets is the closest and most humanized of human-animal relation, and the changing nature of pet keeping can be related to important social and cultural transformations in modernity”
    (Franklin 1999: 84)
    “Why do we call some [nonhuman animals] “pets” and others “dinner?” 
    (K.D. Lang)
    Dr NEIL McPHERSON
    Email: neil.mcpherson@uws.ac.uk
    Twt:@neilgmcpherson
    SMS:07708 931 325
  • 2. Neil McPherson
    Write down 2 words that describe the following animals in your view
  • 3. Neil McPherson
    Write down 2 words that explain why you would not eat the following in normal circumstances
  • 4. Neil McPherson
    Pets/companion animals
    Long history of domesticated animals/pets
    By 16th & 17th C pets established in ‘middle class’ households
    Urbanisation & rise in disposable income
    Animals less likely to be ‘functional necessities’ (see Thomas 1984)
  • 5. Neil McPherson
    Pets/companion animals
    Spatial separation of urban society and nature
    Breakdown of anthropocentric split
    Rural urban split
    “In the old days, animals were treated differently because they were the same; now they are treated the same because they are different…Meanwhile the rural population carried on its old ways; it still had a direct, personal relationship with animals”
    (Tester 1990: 54)
  • 6. Neil McPherson
    Pets/companion animals
    Spatial separation of urban society and nature
    Breakdown of anthropocentric split
    Rural urban split
    “In the old days, animals were treated differently because they were the same; now they are treated the same because they are different…Meanwhile the rural population carried on its old ways; it still had a direct, personal relationship with animals”
    (Tester 1990: 54)
  • 7. Neil McPherson
    Pets/companion animals
    Changes in ontological security – (Sartre 1967, Thomas 1983, Franklin 1999)
    “Sterilised, isolated and usually deprived of contact with other animals, the pet is a creature of it’s [sic] owner’s way of life; and the fact that so many people feel it necessary to maintain a dependent animal for the sake of emotional completeness tells us something about the atomistic world in which we live”
    (Thomas 1983: 1192001: 66)
  • 8. Neil McPherson
    Pets/companion animals
    Breakdown of stability, of cohesion, of social certainty, of the family unit
    “Here are the conditions that favouring the elaboration of our ties with pets: while all around changes and ‘all that is solid melts into air’. Pets provide a somewhat nostalgic set of old-fashion comforts”
    (Sabloff 2001: 66)
  • 9. Neil McPherson
    Pets/companion animals
    Growing urban separation
    Middle classes separated from the animality of rural life
    Extending the social – the naming of pets
    “Pets could be safely named in a way that made them extensions of the social. Humans could become closer to their pets exactly because they were so far removed from them.”
    (Tester 1990: 53)
  • 10. Neil McPherson
    Pets/companion animals
    Individualisation and subjectivity
    “To name an animal is to accord it subjectivity and a relationship with oneself”
    (Sabloff 2001: 66)
    “The act of naming implies that these animals are going to be given special treatment and that individual attributes or personalities are likely to be claimed for them”
    (Beck & Katcher 1996: 13)
  • 11. Neil McPherson
    Pets/companion animals
    Rise in Western society since 1960s
    Emphasis on companionship not entertainment
    Attitudes to pets influenced by life cycle
    More sophisticated care for pets
    Markets
    (See Franklin 1999: 89)
  • 12. Neil McPherson
    Pet population in UK
    Pets – 24m
    Dogs – 8m
    Cats – 8m
    Rabbits – 1m
    Guinea pigs 700,000
    Mice – 100,000
    47% of households
    Top ten
    Fish
    Dogs
    Cats
    Rabbits
    Birds
    Domestic Fowl
    Guinea Pigs
    Hamsters
    Horses/Ponies
    Frogs/Toads
    Source: Pet Food Manufacturers Association 2010 – click or scan
  • 13. Neil McPherson
    The moral orthodoxy
    Pets share social space
    Pets are individualised through naming
    Pets are edible but not eaten
  • 14. Neil McPherson
    Pets or meat?
    Pet/meat dualism
    ““Meat” animals and humanized non-meat animals…are treated as belonging to radically separate and polarized categories of privilege.”
    (Jaggar & Young 1999: 220)
  • 15. Neil McPherson
    Disturbing the pet/meat distinction
  • 16. Neil McPherson
    Pets or meat?
    Moral & cultural separation
  • 17. Neil McPherson
    Pets or meat?
    Cultural relativism 
    “most Americans cannot understand why some Koreans eat dog meat, most Koreans are equally appalled that Americans often let dogs live in their homes, allow them to lick their faces, and spend so much money on them.”
    (Ferrante 2010: 78)
  • 18. Neil McPherson
    Stop & think:
    At the intersection of
    ‘race’ and species
    “If anyone has seen the horrific and unwatchable footage of the Chinese cat and dog trade – animals skinned alive – then they could not possibly argue in favour of China as a caring nation. There are no animal protection laws in China and this results in the worst animal abuse and cruelty on the planet. It is indefensible.”
    (Morrissey 2010)
  • 19. Neil McPherson
    Stop & think:
    At the intersection of
    ‘race’ and species
    “My nausea…worsens as I imagine the phalanx of white, hipster, petite-bourgeois animal rights activists carrying around fake blood stained placards baring the colors or likeness of the South Korean flag.”
    (‘Vegans of Colour’ blog 2010 - here)
  • 20. Neil McPherson
    Excluding animals as food
    Extension of the social
    • over familiarity (pets)
    Honorary humans
    • human characteristics (primates)
    Uncomfortableness/queasiness
    • carnivores (meat for meat – salmonella, scrapie)
    Hygiene
    • rodents (dirt & disease)
    (see Fiddes 1991)
    “I could eat a horse!” – figuratively, not literally
  • 21. Neil McPherson
    Resolving the dualism
    Schema – separate food and non-food animals
    Golden retriever (stimulus) 
    inedible animal (belief/perception) 
    image of living (thought) 
    disgust (feeling) 
    refusal or reluctance to eat (action)
    Belief and action cyclical – mutually reinforcing
    (Joy 2001: 15-16)
  • 22. Neil McPherson
    The nonhuman animal as meat
    Commercialization – animal husbandry to animal industry
    Domestication of pack animals
    Dominance submission system (see Carlson 2001)
    Not all pack animals have been domesticated
    Those that have, bred to enhance attributes
    (see Wilkie 2010 – here)
  • 23. Neil McPherson
    Factory farming
    Mid 20th C
    End of rationing
    Rising population
    Increased consumer wealth
    Technological development
  • 24. Neil McPherson
    Factory farming – structural change in farming practice
    Increased farm size
    Changes in production technologies
    Increased enterprise specialization
    Tighter vertical coordination between the stages of production
    Economic Research Service/USDA 2009 - here
  • 25. Neil McPherson
    Factory farming – structural change in farming practice
    Animals moved from field to shed, crate & cage
    Mechanised cleaning, watering and feeding
    Mechanised slaughter and butchering
  • 26. Neil McPherson
    Factory farming – structural change in farming practice
    Increased yield
    Cheaper, accessible product
    Increased land efficiencies
    Harnessing of by products
  • 27. Neil McPherson
    McDonaldisation (Ritzer)
    Rationalisation of food production and consumption
    Efficiency
    Predictability
    Calculability
    Control
  • 28. Neil McPherson
    Effects of rationalisation of food production
    Separation of food animal from nature
    The factory farmed animal as simulacra
    The animal machine
    Economic reductionism - input costs  profit:
  • 29. Neil McPherson
    Concerns relating to factory farming
    Animal welfare
    Environmental
    Human health
    Animal health
    Social responsibility and sustainability
  • 30. Neil McPherson
    Animals slaughtered for meat in abattoirs in UK
    Animals slaughtered in UK in 1973 & 2009 – thousands (Source DEFRA)
  • 31. Neil McPherson
    Animals slaughtered for meat in US 2002
    Source - Compassion in Farming
  • 32. Neil McPherson
  • 33. Neil McPherson
    Chickens killed for meat
    Chicken broilers in UK – Jan 2011 – 75.51 million
    Chicken broilers in US – 2010 (total) – 8.8 billion
    Source - Defra & USDA
  • 34. Neil McPherson
    Source: Various – see here
  • 35. Neil McPherson
    The ethical position
    Welfare
    Singer against all factory farming
    Welfare groups – small steps in beneficial treatment
    Veal
    Rights
    Abolitionist
  • 36. Neil McPherson
    Meat: a feminist perspective
    Historical ties between women and animals
    Suffrage - shared oppression by males
    Mary Tealby – the Battersea Dogs’ Home (1860)
    Frances Cobbe – British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) (1989)
    Emily Davison and the 'Suffragette Derby' of 1913 - here
  • 37. Neil McPherson
    Meat: a feminist perspective
    Carol Adams – The Sexual Politics of Meat – here
    ‘Cultural worker’
    The concept of ‘absent referent’
  • 38. Neil McPherson
    Meat: a feminist perspective
    “Behind every meal is an absence: the death of the animal whose place the meat takes. The “absent referent” is that which separates the meat eater from the animal and the animal from the end product…
    (Adams 2006: 14)
  • 39. Neil McPherson
    Meat: a feminist perspective
    “…Once the existence of meat is disconnected from the existence of an animal who was killed to become that meat, meat becomes unanchored by its original referrent (the animal), becoming instead a free-floating image, used often to reflect women’s status as well as animals’.”
    (Adams 2006: 14)
  • 40. Neil McPherson
    Meat: a feminist perspective
    Patriarchal culture = objectification fragmentation and consumption of nonhuman animals and women
    “Meat’s recognizable message includes association with the male role; its meaning recurs within a fixed gender system; the coherence it achieves as a meaningful item of food arises from patriarchal attitudes including the idea that the end justifies the means, that the objectification of other beings is a necessary part of life, and that violence can and should be masked.”
    (Adams 2006: 24)
  • 41. Neil McPherson
    Meat: a feminist perspective
    Female nonhuman animals are absent referents in meat & dairy consumption
    ‘Animalisation’ of human females / sexualisation of nonhuman animals
    Feminist care ethic can break down patriarchal structures that oppress human females and nonhuman animal
    (see Adams 2006)
  • 42. Neil McPherson
    The Sexual Politics of Meat
  • 43. Neil McPherson
    The Sexual Politics of Meat
  • 44. Neil McPherson
    The Sexual Politics of Meat
  • 45. Neil McPherson
    The Sexual Politics of Meat
  • 46. Neil McPherson
    The Sexual Politics of Meat
  • 47. Neil McPherson
    The Sexual Politics of Meat
  • 48. Neil McPherson
    The Sexual Politics of Meat
  • 49. Neil McPherson
    The Sexual Politics of Meat
  • 50. Neil McPherson
  • 51. Neil McPherson
    The concept of ‘carnism’
    Meat is Life v Meat is Death
    Carnism v Veganism
    The ‘meat eater and the invisibility of carnism
    (see Joy 2010 – here)
  • 52. Neil McPherson
    Escaping the pet/meat dualism - last word to Plumwood
    “The specific form of pet-meat dualism characteristic of factory farming is the collaborative product of the public-private dualism of liberalism (with its confinement of care to the zone of personal relationships), the neo-liberal rationality of self-maximising egoism expressed in maximizing economic relationships based on dualized conceptions of reason in opposition to emotions and ethics, and the ideology of human supremicism expressed in the dualism of person-property.”
    (Plumwood 1999: 207 - here)