Animal geographies of industrial animal agriculture in the Pandemic Era: The tragedy and insecurity of multispecies ethnography

Eimear Theresa Mc Loughlin, Rebecca Leigh Rutt, Niels Duus Nielsen, Alberte Skriver Møller

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Abstract

Amidst the capitalist logics governing life and death in the industrial production of pigs and poultry in Denmark, we confront the ethico-methodological challenges of conducting multispecies research in this time of increased pathogen emergence and transmission: the ‘Pandemic Era’. Drawing on our empirical insights, we contend that worldly animal geographies in the Pandemic Era are constituted by biological and existential insecurity, underscoring the importance of this work. Through affectively attuning to the bordering devices of biosecurity, we convey the capaciousness of performative understandings of species that industrial agriculture constrains but which animal geographers can advance. Acts of witnessing in industrial agriculture expose the limitations of multispecies ethnography that simultaneously catalyse advancement in the field. Whilst our work reckons with the tragedy of multispecies ethnography in industrial landscapes, the limits we have encountered, from the methodological to the ethical, are incitements to critique and innovate modes of attunement that extend beyond the field of animal geographies itself.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
ISSN1470-2541
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Species
  • Biosecurity
  • Witnessing
  • Human-animal relations
  • Pig production
  • Poultry farming

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