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Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies

A Historical Collection

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Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II and Amber E. George

Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection represents the very best that the internationally scholarly Journal for Critical Animal Studies (JCAS) has published in terms of articles that are written by public critical scholar-activists-organizers for public critical scholar-activists-organizers. This move toward publishing pieces about engaging social change, rather than high-theoretical detached analysis of nonhuman animals in society, is to regain focus for liberation at all costs. The essays in this collection focus on intersectionality scholarship within the realm of Critical Animal Studies, and discuss issues related to race, gender, disability, class, and queerness. Not only are these articles historically significant within the field of Critical Animal Studies, but they are integral to the overall social justice movement. Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection should be read by anyone interested in the Critical Animal Studies field, as we consider them to be classic writings that should be respected as foundational texts. There are many interesting and innovative texts, but these are historical, not only because they were published in JCAS, but because they were among the first to publish on a particular intersectional issue.

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Chapter Eleven: “Most Farmers Prefer Blondes”: The Dynamics of Anthroparchy in Animals Becoming Meat (Erika Cudworth)

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

“Most Farmers Prefer Blondes”

The Dynamics of Anthroparchy in Animals Becoming Meat

ERIKA CUDWORTH

 

My visit to the Royal Smithfield Show, one of the largest events in the British farming calendar, reminded me of the gendering of agricultural animals. Upon encountering one particular stand in which there were three pale honey-colored cows (with little room for themselves), some straw, a bucket of water, and Paul, a farmer’s assistant. Two cows were lying down while the one in the middle stood and shuffled. Each cow sported a chain around her neck with her name on it. The one in the middle was named “Erica.” Above the stand was a banner that read, “Most farmers prefer Blondes,” a reference to the name given to this particular breed, the Blonde D’Aquitaine.

The Blonde D’Aquitaine has been produced through rigorous selective breeding in order to obtain a “good looking” and easily managed farmed animal. Cows occupy a particular place in a typology of species in which different kinds of animals are assigned to different groups. These groups are distinguished by different formations of human–animal relationships. Drawing on Ted Benton’s (1993) useful categorization, I consider that animals can be construed as “wild” (in conditions of limited incorporation with humans); used as a labor force; used for entertainment or edification; installed as household companions; employed as symbols; and consumed as food (Cudworth, 2003, pp. 165–166). Shifts...

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