Animals as Food: (Re)connecting Production, Processing, Consumption, and Impacts (The Animal Turn)

Animals as Food: (Re)connecting Production, Processing, Consumption, and Impacts (The Animal Turn)

Language: English

Pages: 210

ISBN: 1611861748

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Every day, millions of people around the world sit down to a meal that includes meat. This book explores several questions as it examines the use of animals as food: How did the domestication and production of livestock animals emerge and why? How did current modes of raising and slaughtering animals for human consumption develop, and what are their consequences? What can be done to mitigate and even reverse the impacts of animal production? With insight into the historical, cultural, political, legal, and economic processes that shape our use of animals as food, Fitzgerald provides a holistic picture and explicates the connections in the supply chain that are obscured in the current mode of food production. Bridging the distance in animal agriculture between production, processing, consumption, and their associated impacts, this analysis envisions ways of redressing the negative effects of the use of animals as food. It details how consumption levels and practices have changed as the relationship between production, processing, and consumption has shifted. Due to the wide-ranging questions addressed in this book, the author draws on many fields of inquiry, including sociology, (critical) animal studies, history, economics, law, political science, anthropology, criminology, environmental science, geography, philosophy, and animal science.

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Feeding Operations.” 120. Zande, “Raising a Stink.” 121. West et al., “Antibiotic Resistance, Gene Transfer, and Water Quality Patterns.” 122. Hahn Niman, Righteous Porkchop. 123. Tietz, “Boss Hog.” 124. Steinfeld et al., “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” 125. Packwood Freeman, “Meat’s Place on the Campaign Menu.” 126. Lappé, “Diet for a Hot Planet.” 127. Steinfeld et al., “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” 128. Gunderson, “Metabolic Rifts of Livestock Agribusiness.” 129. Steinfeld et al.,

relocation was also attractive because livestock tended to be raised in areas where land was cheaper and in states with low levels of unionization, notably with right-­to-­work laws, so opening slaughterhouses in these areas also reduced land and labor costs.95 Responding to these push and pull factors, the meat processing company Cudahy began the transition out of Chicago in 1954.96 By 1970, the Union Stockyard slaughterhouses in Chicago were closed.97 The same number of slaughterhouses that had

in slaughterhouses every year. As mentioned earlier, some inspectors have become so frustrated that they have taken to complaining publicly.163 Academic studies have corroborated the commonality of animals being improperly stunned for slaughter. A recent ethnography of work inside a cattle slaughterhouse by Pachirat provides evidence that the improper stunning of cows is common enough that, at least in the slaughterhouse he worked in, special gates have been installed along the disassembly line

antibiotics and the resistant bacteria, however, extend beyond the confines of farms. Estimates indicate that as much as 75 percent of antibiotics given to farm animals pass through the animal’s body and into the wider environment.91 Studies have demonstrated that CAFOs and the areas surrounding them are hotbeds for antibiotic-­resistant | 100    Chapter 5 bacteria.92 The public can also be exposed to antibiotic-­resistant bacteria in the community and by handling meat or consuming meat that

attention is focused here. Air Pollution The air pollution caused by livestock production is concentrated in and around CAFOs, where the air has been found to contain elevated levels of bioaerosols and endotoxins.103 Recent research has documented significant negative human health effects of this air pollution, particularly among those working within it. CAFO workers are more likely than the general public to suffer from respiratory problems, which is not all that surprising given their proximity

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