Most farmers prefer Blondes: The Dynamics of Anthroparchy in Animals’ Becoming Meat
There are varied social formations that contemporary human-animal relations assume, but the dominant interaction which most of us in wealthy regions of the globe have with domestic animal species, is that we eat them. This paper argues that the animals we eat are framed by the symbolic regimes and material contexts of their becoming-meat. The placing of animals as food suggests an ontology of species, and this paper draws out elements of such an ontology with reference to an empirical British study of the institutional sites and practices of farming, slaughter and butchery through which animals are transformed into meat. It is not only species relations which are present in animals’ becoming-meat however, and an emergent theme in the empirical material is the way in which gendered and natured (and other) narratives coalesce. Domestic food animals have, of course, varied histories of bio-sociality with ‘humans’. Yet despite this co-constitution, the paper argues that many non-human animals are subject to a complex system of natured domination which privileges the human. Despite the dynamic qualities of contemporary formations of natured domination, the becoming-meat of animals can be understood as a network of institutions, processes and practices and can be evidenced in particular social forms. Social relations are complexly intersectionalised however, and this paper explores some of the entanglements of gender and nature in the conceptions, lives, deaths and dismemberments of meat animals.
open access journal
Citation : Cudworth, E. (2008) 'Most Farmers Prefer Blondes' – Dynamics of Anthroparchy in Animals’ Becoming Meat. The Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 6(1), pp. 32-45.
ISSN : 1948-352X
Research Institute : Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice
Peer Reviewed : Yes