animal-industrial complex


  • The animal–industrial complex is said to have transformed the already confused relationship between human and non-human animals, significantly increasing the consumption and
    threatening human survival, and the pervasive nature of the animal–industrial complex is such that it evades attention.

  • [3]: 14  Impact of the complex See also: Holocaust analogy in animal rights Male chicks prepared to be killed Referring to the animal–industrial complex intersectionally,
    both Noske and Twine acknowledge the complex’s negative impact on human minorities and the environment.

  • [3]: 16  Amy J. Fitzgerald points out to prison inmates in the United States and Canada being employed as a source of cheap labor in slaughtering and processing of animals,
    which scholars such as Robert R. Higgins consider as “environmental racism” wherein animals and animalized humans are symbolically paired, and as an economic rationale for the perpetuation of a specific prison population.

  • In the book Education for Total Liberation, Meneka Repka cites Barbara Noski as saying that the commodification of nonhuman animals in food systems is directly linked to capitalist
    systems that prioritize “monopolistically inclined financial interests” over the well-being of humans, nonhumans, and the environment.

  • [1]: 300  In the slaughterhouse, Lovis Corinth, 1893 According to Stallwood, the animal–industrial complex breeds animals in the billions in order to make products and services
    for human consumption, and all these animals are considered legal property of the animal–industrial complex.

  • “[1]: 299 [2]: 20  The term relates the practices, organizations, and overall industry that turns animals into food and other commodities to the military–industrial complex.

  • “[17] She states that the corporate dairy industry, the government, and schools forms the animal–industrial complex troika of immense influence, which hides from the public’s
    view the animal rights violations and cruelties happening within the dairy industry.

  • [10]: 420  Components of the complex The animal–industrial complex involves commodification of animals under contemporary capitalism and includes every economic activity involving
    animals, such as food, animal research, entertainment, fashion, companionship, and so forth,[11] all of which are seen as consequences of animal exploitations.

  • [4]: 208  Contributors to the 2013 book Animals and War, which linked critical animal studies and critical peace studies,[6] explored the connections between the animal–industrial
    complex and the military–industrial complex, proposing and analysing the idea of a military-animal industrial complex.

  • “[1]: 299  According to Stallwood, two milestones mark the shift in human attitudes toward animals that empowered the animal–industrial complex, namely, Chicago and its stockyards
    and slaughterhouses from 1865 and the post–World War II developments such as intensive factory farms, industrial fishing, and xenotransplantation.

  • [21] All told, around 166 to over 200 billion land and aquatic animals are killed every year to provide humans with animal products for consumption, which some vegans and
    animal rights activists, among them Steven Best and journalist Chris Hedges, have described as an “animal holocaust”.

  • [4]: 208  Nibert further states, The profound cultural devaluation of other animals that permits the violence that underlies the animal industrial complex is produced by far-reaching
    speciesist socialization.

  • [7]: 20  One of the aims of the book as a whole was to argue for the abolition of the military-animal industrial complex and all wars.

  • [5] Origin and properties of the complex Although the origin of the animal–industrial complex can be traced back to the time when domestication of animals began,[4]: 208 it
    was only since 1945 that the complex began to grow significantly under contemporary capitalism.

  • [24] The extensive use of land and other resources for the production of meat instead of grain for human consumption is a leading cause of malnutrition, hunger, and famine
    around the world.

  • Definition The term animal–industrial complex was coined by the Dutch cultural anthropologist and philosopher Barbara Noske in her 1989 book Humans and Other Animals, saying
    that animals “have become reduced to mere appendages of computers and machines.

  • [14]: xvii  Best estimates that up to 115 million animals are killed globally every year to produce these drugs, which force human victims to succumb to the medical–industrial
    complex for profit by treating only the symptoms.

  • [16]: 62  Borrowing from Dwight D. Eisenhower’s military–industrial complex warning, Stachowski states that the vast and powerful AIC determines what children eat because
    people have failed to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence” and that Eisenhower’s parallels are strikingly similar to the AIC in that the complex involves “the very structure of our society” and completely influences the
    society’s economic, political, and even spiritual spheres.

  • [9] Scholars argue that all kinds of animal production is rooted in speciesism, reducing animals to mere economic resources.

  • [4]: 199  The creation of ranching operations led to intrusions onto Native American lands and violent displacement of the people in them in order to accommodate the growing
    numbers of oppressed animals, which in turn resulted in the creation of slaughterhouse operations.

  • “[17] The enormity of the AIC, according to Stachowski, includes “its long reach into our lives, and how well it has done its job normalizing brutality toward the animals
    whose very existence is forgotten.

  • “[30] Writing about wild animals being imported into France in the 18th century, historian Louise Robbins writes that a “cultural biography of things” would show animals “sliding
    in and out of commodity status and taking on different values for different people” as they make their way from their homes to the streets of Paris.

  • [45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55] A 2016 study in Organization indicates, “Regression analyses of data from 10,605 Danish workers across 44 occupations suggest
    that slaughterhouse workers consistently experience lower physical and psychological well-being along with increased incidences of negative coping behavior”.

  • [3]: 17  Negative effects on workers[edit] Further information: Labor rights in American meatpacking industry American slaughterhouse workers are three times more likely to
    suffer serious injury than the average American worker.

  • [9] Speciesism results in the belief that humans have the right to use non-human animals, which is so pervasive in the modern society.

  • [14][15][21]: 45  While the public is increasingly aware of this, chiefly due to animal advocacy, testaments of scientists, and growing direct evidence, the AIC lobbies against
    animal welfare regulation and animal rights activism.

  • [9] They also argue that the obfuscation of meat’s animal origins is a critical part of the animal–industrial complex under capitalist and neoliberal regimes.

  • [3]: 17–18  Sociologist David Nibert defines the animal–industrial complex as “a massive network that includes grain producers, ranching operations, slaughterhouse and packaging
    firms, fast food and chain restaurants, and the state,” which he claims “has deep roots in world history.

  • [4]: 198  The state-supported profit-driven capitalist expansion, for instance, was responsible for the killing and displacement of North America’s indigenous peoples and

  • [1]: 299–300  In the words of Nibert, the Chicago slaughterhouses were significant economic powers of the early 20th century and were “famous for the cruel, rapid-paced killing
    and disassembly of enormous numbers of animals.

  • “[26]: 247  Carol J. Adams considers responses to such crises as representing “a search for anthropocentric solutions to an anthropocentric problem”—that is, improve the supply
    of meat rather than examine the practice of meat eating—and stresses a closer scrutiny of the problem and a possible rejection of meat eating.

  • [60][61] In 2010, Human Rights Watch described slaughterhouse line work in the United States as a human rights crime.

  • [7]: 16  The exploitation of animals, argues Colin Salter, is not necessary to military–industrial complexes, but it is a foundational and central element of the military–industrial
    complex as it actually exists.

  • [1]: 299  Nibert argues that while it has its origins in the use of animals during the establishment of agricultural societies, the animal–industrial complex is ultimately
    “a predictable, insidious outgrowth of the capitalist system with its penchant for continuous expansion”.

  • [31]: 10  Sociologist Rhoda Wilkie has used the term “sentient commodity” to describe this view of how the conception of animals as commodities can shift depending on whether
    a human being forms a relationship with them.

  • [1]: xii, 298  Richard Twine later refined the concept, regarding it as the “partly opaque and multiple set of networks and relationships between the corporate (agricultural)
    sector, governments, and public and private science.

  • [17] Scholars note that while critical animal theory acknowledges the universities’ position as centers of knowledge production, it also states that the academy plays a problematic
    role of being a crucial mechanism within the AIC.

  • It includes every economic activity involving animals, such as the food industry (e.g., meat, dairy, poultry, apiculture), animal testing (e.g., academic, industrial, animals
    in space), medicine (e.g., bile and other animal products), clothing (e.g., leather, silk, wool, fur), labor and transport (e.g., working animals, animals in war, remote control animals), tourism and entertainment (e.g., circus, zoos, blood
    sports, trophy hunting, animals held in captivity), selective breeding (e.g., pet industry, artificial insemination), and so forth.

  • “[10]: 422  In his 2011 book Critical Theory and Animal Liberation, J. Sanbonmatsu argues that speciesism is not ignorance or the absence of a moral code towards animals,
    but is a mode of production and material system imbricated with capitalism.

  • “[33] Political scientist Sami Torssonen argues that animal welfare has itself been commodified since the 1990s because of public concern for animals.

  • For instance, the system of primary and secondary education under the capitalist system largely indoctrinates young people into the dominant societal beliefs and values, including
    a great deal of procapitalist and speciesist ideology.

  • Proponents of the term claim that activities described by the term differ from individual acts of animal cruelty in that they constitute institutionalized animal exploitation.

  • “[4]: 197  The AIC essentially refers to the triple helix of influential, powerful systems that control knowledge systems about meat production, namely, the government, the
    corporate sphere, and the academy.

  • [4]: 198  The resulting change from one form of the control of state power to another, such as the older aristocracy being replaced by rising capitalism, was “every bit as
    violent and oppressive” as the former.

  • [36] In her book, Noske discusses the issue of health risks to human workers in slaughterhouses.


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