This is an account of industrialized killing from a participant's point of view. The author, political scientist Timothy Pachirat, was employed undercover for five months in a Great Plains slaughterhouse where 2,500 cattle were killed per day--one every twelve seconds. Working in the cooler as a liver hanger, in the chutes as a cattle driver, and on the kill floor as a food-safety quality-control worker, Pachirat experienced firsthand the realities of the work of killing in modern society. He uses those experiences to explore not only the slaughter industry but also how, as a society, we facilitate violent labor and hide away that which is too repugnant to contemplate. Through his vivid narrative and ethnographic approach, Pachirat brings to life massive, routine killing from the perspective of those who take part in it. He shows how surveillance and sequestration operate within the slaughterhouse and in its interactions with the community at large. He also considers how society is organized to distance and hide uncomfortable realities from view. With much to say about issues ranging from the sociology of violence and modern food production to animal rights and welfare, "Every Twelve Seconds" is an important and disturbing work.
Author: Jenny Leigh Smith
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2014-10-28
This book is the first to investigate the gap between the plans and the reality of the Soviet Union’s mid-twentieth-century project to industrialize and modernize its agricultural system. Historians agree that the project failed badly: agriculture was inefficient, unpredictable, and environmentally devastating for the entire Soviet period. Yet assigning the blame exclusively to Soviet planners would be off the mark. The real story is much more complicated and interesting, Jenny Leigh Smith reveals in this deeply researched book. Using case studies from five Soviet regions, she acknowledges hubris and shortsightedness where it occurred but also gives fair consideration to the difficulties encountered and the successes—however modest—that were achieved.
Author: Gail A. Eisnitz
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release Date: 2009-09-25
Genre: Business & Economics
Slaughterhouse is the first book of its kind to explore the impact that unprecedented changes in the meatpacking industry over the last twenty-five years — particularly industry consolidation, increased line speeds, and deregulation — have had on workers, animals, and consumers. It is also the first time ever that workers have spoken publicly about what’s really taking place behind the closed doors of America’s slaughterhouses. In this new paperback edition, author Gail A. Eisnitz brings the story up to date since the book’s original publication. She describes the ongoing efforts by the Humane Farming Association to improve conditions in the meatpacking industry, media exposés that have prompted reforms resulting in multimillion dollar appropriations by Congress to try to enforce federal inspection laws, and a favorable decision by the Supreme Court to block construction of what was slated to be one of the largest hog factory farms in the country. Nonetheless, Eisnitz makes it clear that abuses continue and much work still needs to be done.
Catastrophism explores the politics of apocalypse - on the left and right, in the environmental movement - and examines why the lens of catastrophe can distort our understanding of the dynamics at the heart of these numerous disasters - and fatally impede our ability to transform the world. Lilley, McNally, Yuen, and Davis probe the reasons why catastrophic thinking is so prevalent, and challenge the belief that it is only out of the ashes that a better society may be born. The authors argue that those who care about social justice and the environment should jettison doomsaying - even as it relates to indisputably apocalyptic climate change. Far from calling people to arms, they suggest, catastrophic fear often results in passivity and paralysis - and, at worst, reactionary politics."--pub. desc.
Author: Elinor G. K. Melville
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1997-07-13
This is a book about the biological conquest of the New World. Taking as a case study the sixteenth century history of a region of highland central Mexico, it shows how the environmental and social changes brought about by the introduction of Old World species aided European expansion. The book spells out in detail the environmental changes associated with the introduction of Old World grazing animals into New World ecosystems, demonstrates how these changes enabled the Spanish takeover of land, and explains how environmental changes shaped the colonial societies.
Author: James C. Scott
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Social Science
This book presents an account of an intellectual breakthrough in the study of rural society and agriculture. Its ten chapters, selected for their originality and synthesis from the colloquia of the Programme in Agrarian Studies at Yale University, encompass various disciplines, diverse historical periods, and several regions of the world. The contributors' fresh analyses will broaden the perspectives of readers with interests as wide-ranging as rural sociology, environmentalism, political science, history, anthropology, economics, and art history. The ten studies recast and expand what is known about rural society and agrarian issues, examining such topics as poverty, subsistence, cultivation, ecology, justice, art, custom, law, ritual life, cooperation, and state action. Each contribution provides a point of departure for new study, encouraging deeper thinking across disciplinary boundaries and frontiers.
Summoned by an anonymous Prosecutor, ten contemporary ethnographers gather in an aging barn to hold a trial of Alice Goffman’s controversial ethnography, On the Run. But before the trial can get underway, a one-eyed wolfdog arrives with a mysterious liquid potion capable of rendering the ethnographers invisible in their fieldsites. Presented as a play that unfolds in seven acts, the ensuing drama provides readers with both a practical guide for how to conduct immersive participant-observation research and a sophisticated theoretical engagement with the relationship between ethnography as a research method and the operation of power. By interpolating "how-to" aspects of ethnographic research with deeper questions about ethnography’s relationship to power, this book presents a compelling introduction for those new to ethnography and rich theoretical insights for more seasoned ethnographic practitioners from across the social sciences. Just as ethnography as a research method depends crucially on serendipity, surprise, and an openness to ambiguity, the book’s dramatic and dialogic format encourages novices and experts alike to approach the study of power in ways that resist linear programs and dogmatic prescriptions. The result is a playful yet provocative invitation to rekindle those foundational senses of wonder and generative uncertainty that are all too often excluded from conversations about the methodologies and methods we bring to the study of the social world.
Author: Marianne Elisabeth Lien
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-06-30
Genre: Social Science
"Becoming Salmon is the first ethnographic account of salmon aquaculture, the most recent turn in the human history of animal domestication. As fish are enrolled in new regimes of marine domestication, traditional distinctions between fish and animals are reconfigured, recasting farmed fish as sentient beings, capable of feeling pain and subject to animal welfare legislation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Norway and Australia, the author traces farmed Atlantic salmon through contemporary industrial practices, and shows how salmon are bred to be hungry, globally mobile, and alien in their watersheds of origin. Attentive to the economic context of industrial food production as well as the mundane practices of caring for fish, it offers novel perspectives on domestication, human-animal relations, and food production"--Provided by publisher.
CAFO : The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories provides an unprecedented view of concentrated animal feeding operations, where increasing amounts of the world's meat, milk, eggs, and seafood are produced. As the photos and essays in this powerful book demonstrate, the rise of the CAFO industry around the world has become one of the most pressing issues of our time. Industrial livestock production is now a leading source of climate-changing emissions, a source of both freshwater and ocean pollution, and a significant contributor to diet-related diseases such as obesity and the spread of food-borne illnesses. The intensive concentration of animals in such crammed and filthy conditions dependent on antibiotic medicines and steady streams of subsidized industrial feeds poses serious moral and ethical concerns for all of us.
Author: Catherine A. Corson
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2016-08-23
A highly regarded academic and former policy analyst and consultant charts the forty-year history of neoliberalism, environmental governance, and resource rights in Madagascar Since the 1970s, the U.S. Agency for International Development has spent millions of dollars to preserve Madagascar's rich biological diversity. Yet its habitats are still in decline. Studying forty years of policy making in multiple sites, Catherine Corson reveals how blaming impoverished Malagasy farmers for Madagascar's environmental decline has avoided challenging other drivers of deforestation, such as the logging and mining industries. In this important ethnographic study, Corson reveals how Madagascar's environmental program reflects the transformation of global environmental governance under neoliberalism.
Wastelanding tells the history of the uranium industry on Navajo land in the U.S. Southwest, asking why certain landscapes and the peoples who inhabit them come to be targeted for disproportionate exposure to environmental harm. Uranium mines and mills on the Navajo Nation land have long supplied U.S. nuclear weapons and energy programs. By 1942, mines on the reservation were the main source of uranium for the top-secret Manhattan Project. Today, the Navajo Nation is home to more than a thousand abandoned uranium sites. Radiation-related diseases are endemic, claiming the health and lives of former miners and nonminers alike. Traci Brynne Voyles argues that the presence of uranium mining on Diné (Navajo) land constitutes a clear case of environmental racism. Looking at discursive constructions of landscapes, she explores how environmental racism develops over time. For Voyles, the "wasteland," where toxic materials are excavated, exploited, and dumped, is both a racial and a spatial signifier that renders an environment and the bodies that inhabit it pollutable. Because environmental inequality is inherent in the way industrialism operates, the wasteland is the "other" through which modern industrialism is established. In examining the history of wastelanding in Navajo country, Voyles provides "an environmental justice history" of uranium mining, revealing how just as "civilization" has been defined on and through "savagery," environmental privilege is produced by portraying other landscapes as marginal, worthless, and pollutable.
This book explores the similar attitudes and methods behind modern society's treatment of animals and the way humans have often treated each other, most notably during the Holocaust. The book's epigraph and title are from "The Letter Writer," a story by the Yiddish writer and Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer: "In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka." The first part of the book (Chapter 1-2) describes the emergence of human beings as the master species and their domination over the rest of the inhabitants of the earth. The second part (Chapters 3-5) examines the industrialization of slaughter (of both animals and humans) that took place in modern times. The last part of the book (Chapters 6-8) profiles Jewish and German animal advocates on both sides of the Holocaust, including Isaac Bashevis Singer himself. The Foreword is by Lucy Rosen Kaplan, former attorney for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and daughter of Holocaust survivors. Her foreword, the Preface and Afterword, excerpts from the book, chapter synopses, and an international list of supporters can be found on the book's website at: www.powerfulbook.com