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|Title:||Humane Disposability: Rethinking “Food Animals,” Animal Welfare, and Vegetarianism in Response to the Factory Farm|
|Authors:||Carey, Jessica L. W.|
|Advisor:||Clark, David L.|
Giroux, Susan Searls
Giroux, Henry A.
|Department:||English and Cultural Studies|
|Keywords:||animal studies;ethics;vegetarianism;critical theory;cultural studies;pedagogy;American Popular Culture;Arts and Humanities;Continental Philosophy;Ethics and Political Philosophy;Other Arts and Humanities;American Popular Culture|
|Abstract:||<p>Intensively industrialized animal agriculture, or factory farming, poses many challenges for our notions of “life” and how it should be treated. Factory farming’s mass instrumentalization and exploitation of animals potentially unsettles both our most basic notions regarding the justice of sacrificing certain lives in order to improve other lives, and our decisions about which lives belong to each category. This thesis examines the factory farm as a site that relies upon and produces particular lessons about life. The first chapter explores factory farming’s insistence that economically useful features of animals can be endlessly manipulated and optimized, summarily rendering disposable all other aspects of their lives. Recent work on “neoliberal” economic ideology identifies the emergence of similar conclusions about <em>human</em> life under neoliberalism, yet animal life remains largely un-theorized in this context. Meanwhile, the field of critical animal studies is generating a rich body of work theorizing our exclusion of animals from full ethical and political consideration, but has yet to grapple with how the factory farm brings to bear its own economizing logic that intensifies the “othering” of animal life. The resulting pedagogy of life reverberates throughout the range of cultural responses to factory farming. Chapter Two discusses factory farm designer Temple Grandin’s work in order to illustrate how attempts to situate the site within ostensibly non-economic narratives of life such as ecology, comparative epistemology, and spirituality reveal ways that those narratives can become complicit with the factory farm’s neoliberal pedagogy. Chapter Three examines current representations of vegetarian identity, demonstrating that even resistant responses can reinscribe the factory farm’s sacrificial economy. The thesis concludes that alternative futures for critical resistance to the factory farm depend upon a more thorough apprehension of its conceptual reach, and concerted pedagogical and ethical work through and beyond its framing of both human and animal life.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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