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