Ecological Biopower, Environmental Violence Against Animals, and the "Greening" of the Factory Farm

Jonathan L. Clark
The promulgation of pollution control regulations governing factory farms has led to a striking new way of representing and intervening in the bodies of farmed animals: the body is being represented as a source of pollution, and various technological interventions, from genetic engineering to dietary changes, are being deployed to reduce pollution at the source. In this article I analyze this new technoscientific project through the theoretical lens of ecological biopower. Focusing on the
more » ... rial pork sector's efforts to keep the cost of complying with nutrient management regulations in check, the article examines the case of "environmental nutrition," a dietary strategy that aims to reduce the excretion of nutrients from the bodies of swine. By highlighting whose diet is being changed in this approach and whose is not, I argue that environmental nutrition is as much about avoiding the exercise of ecological biopower over human beings as it is about exercising ecological biopower over farmed animals. I also argue that the pressing need to reduce the environmental impacts of factory farming is being used to justify new forms of violence against animals.
doi:10.17613/m61v83 fatcat:mfqasrm55fhqhamayw6xv3ungy