Animal agriculture is the practice of raising animals for the production of food, cosmetics, clothes, and more generally, animal-derived products. The mass production of animals for human consumption was developed in the 19th century, which paralleled mass production in other sectors during the Industrial Revolution. As Matthew Scully explains, this meant that agricultural production doubled four times between 1820 and 1975 across the world.
In this conversation, Kathryn Gillespie and Jan Dutkiewicz will discuss some of the most contentious issues related to animal agriculture. The mass production of animals is harming human and non-human animals, and the environment. We will learn about the kind of lives animals lead in factory farms, the working conditions of the human workers in concentrated animal feeding operations, their socioeconomic backgrounds, and questions related to the ethics of undertaking research in factory farms and the idea that ‘seeing is believing’. If everybody knew, if the walls of abattoirs were made of glass, would factory farming end?
Kathryn Gillespie is a postdoctoral scholar in Geography at the University of Kentucky. Her work focuses on the everyday violence to which other species are subjected under capitalist and settler colonial regimes, with a particular focus on animals in agriculture. She is the author of The Cow with Ear Tag #1389 (University of Chicago Press, 2018) and has published in journals such as Politics and Animals, Environment and Planning A, Antipode, Animal Studies Journal, Hypatia, and Gender, Place & Culture.
Jan Dutkiewicz is a Policy Fellow at the Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School and a Swiss National Science Foundation Sinergia Postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University. His research focuses on the political economy of meat, including both animal-derived meat and alternative proteins, and he is finishing a book about industrialized meat production in the United States. He has written about the politics of food, animals, and the environment for publications including WIRED, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Dissent, and Jacobin.
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