Sustainable exploitation, the political ecology of the Livestock Revolution

Livia Boscardin, Andrea Maihofer, Gary L. Francione
2019 unpublished
This dissertation is dedicated to all those hearts burning for freedom and opposing oppression in these times full of fear and hate. For additional resources, check out and Let's take care of each other and the world. The applied method is a discourse analysis of reports on the Livestock Revolution from 1999 to 2016. Sociological discourse analysis studies the production, reproduction and transformation of social order on the basis of texts. Discourse
more » ... sis is therefore not solely about ideas but also about material reality. Analytically reconstructing the "storylines" (Hajer 1995; Keller 2013) of the Livestock Revolution, the dissertation scans who or what is responsible for the Revolution, by which means it shall be reached, and what reference values underlie the endeavor. As the Revolution builds on sustainable intensification, the study is embedded in a wider theoretical exploration of green capitalism and proposes a "mirror move" of naturalizing capitalism and capitalizing on nature. This investigation is situated at the intersection of two research fields, critical animal studies and political ecology. Human-animal studies examine the societal relationship towards animals whereas its subfield, critical animal studies, particularly explores the political and economic conditions of this mostly oppressive relationship. 2 The myriad presence of animals in our daily lives and their immense cultural, religious, social, and economic importance imply that this relationship is not a biological but a highly social one, and, as such, historically and culturally contingent. The same assertion can be made for humanity's relationship with nature in general, and, more fundamentally, for the nature/culture divide per se. 3 Remarkably enough, a real boom in the scholarly exploration of the animal as a social subject-as part of society, and not as mere symbols or scientific objects-can be witnessed in the last decade, prompting an "animal turn" in science. 4 Integrating ecology into political economy, political ecology, then, investigates the link between power structures on the one hand, and environmental destruction and access to resources on the other hand (Paulson, Gezon, and Watts 2005, 17). For instance, natural disasters are never solely "natural," but political: They disproportionally affect socially oppressed and economically disadvantaged groups (Peet, Robbins, and Watts 2011, 35). Similarly, the ecological crisis is always a multiple crisis composed by rising food prices, hunger, degradation of livelihoods,
doi:10.5451/unibas-007133592 fatcat:vtbvugpcmrc2daugnowixkckjm