Animals as Biotechnology: Ethics, Sustainability and Critical Animal Studies

Animals as Biotechnology: Ethics, Sustainability and Critical Animal Studies

by Richard Twine
Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
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Animals as Biotechnology: Ethics, Sustainability and Critical Animal Studies

In Animals as Biotechnology sociologist Richard Twine places the question of human-animal relations at the heart of sustainability and climate change debates. The book is shaped by the emergence of two contradictory trends within our approach to nonhuman animals: the biotechnological turn in animal sciences, which aims to increase the efficiency and profitability of meat and dairy production; and the emerging field of critical animal studies - mostly in the humanities and social sciences - which works to question the nature of our relations with other animals.

The first part of the book focuses on ethics, critically examining the dominant paradigms of bioethics and power relations between human and nonhuman. The second part considers animal biotechnology and political economy, examining commercialization and regulation. The final part of the book centres on discussions of sustainability, limits and an examination of the prospects for animal ethics if biotechnology becomes part of the dominant agricultural paradigm. Twine concludes by considering whether growing calls to reduce our consumption of meat and dairy products in the face of climate change threats are in fact complicit with an anthropocentric understanding of sustainability, implying a need for a more fundamental ethical and political questioning of relations and distinctions between humans, animals and nature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781844078301
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 10/28/2010
Series: Earthscan Science in Society Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction: From the Sciences of Meat to Critical Animal Studies 1

Sociology and animal studies 3

Political engagement? Burawoy's sociology and critical animal studies 6

Concepts for critical animal studies: Intersectionality and posthumanism 9

Animals as biotechnology 14

Part I The Animal and the Ethical 19

1 Undomesticating the Ethical 21

Whose 'progress'? 22

Multiple ethics for 'animals' 25

Bioethics and nonhuman animals 33

2 Towards a Critical Bioethics 35

Bioethics and interdisciplinarity 36

Contesting the 'bio' in bioethics 40

The question of complicity 43

3 Thinking Across Species in the Ethics of 'Enhancement' 49

Opening up animal (bio)ethics: Smart mice, Schwarzenegger mice and fearless mice 51

The ethical bypass and the argument from precedent 53

Is there a slippery slope between animal and human 'enhancement' 56

Towards the convergence of medicine and agriculture? 57

Part II Capitalizing on Animals 61

4 Animal Biotechnology and Regulation 63

Regulation and advocacy 65

Historical context 66

Transatlantic developments in genomics, GM and cloning 70

5 Biopower and the Biotechnological Framing of the Animal Body 83

Farmed animals and biopower 84

Biotechnology and animal bodies: Metaphor no more? 90

6 Capitalizing on the Molecular Animal: Beyond Limits? 95

A new species of capitalization? 95

The knowledge economy as enabling master narrative 101

Livestock genetics companies and the molecular turn 107

Part III Capturing Sustainability in the Genome 115

7 Mobilizing the Promise of Sustainability 117

Biotechnologies as 'promising' practices 118

Reinventing animal breeding: The molecularization of sustainability 122

Global animal consumption and human health 127

Global animal consumption and climate change 135

8 Searching for the 'Win-Win'? Animal Genomics and 'Welfare' 145

Genetic selection, unintended consequences and welfare 148

'Welfare as health' and the idea of the win-win 151

Genomics and animal welfare 155

Conclusion: From the 'Livestock' 'Revolution' to a Revolution in Human-Animal Relations 161

Beyond the livestock revolution 161

Reducing meat and dairy consumption 165

Beyond efficiency 173

Notes 177

References 193

List of abbreviations 211

Index 213

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