Animals as Biotechnology: Ethics, Sustainability and Critical Animal Studies
by Richard Twine
Edition: 1st., 2010
In Animals as Biotechnology: Ethics, Sustainability and Critical Animal Studies sociologist Richard Twine places the questioning of human/animal relations at the heart of sustainability and climate change debates. This book is shaped by the incongruous parallel emergence of two approaches to nonhuman animals. The animal sciences concerned with the efficient and profitable production of animals into meat and dairy products now embrace molecular knowledge as a means to extract new sources of biocapital from farmed animal bodies. However the emergence of animal studies and critical animal studies—mostly in the humanities and social sciences—work to question the dominant instrumental character of our relations with other animals. Twine considers the emergence of these approaches to bring into relief the paradox of a novel biotechnological power to breed new forms of animals at the very time when critical animal studies and threats such as climate change pose serious questions of anthropocentrism and hubris.
This book outlines the way in which the molecular turn in animal breeding now attempts to recuperate the major externalizations of meat/dairy production (most obviously human health, ecology and animal welfare) by capturing sustainability within the genome. Situating new modes of molecular capitalization within a broader economic narrative of the knowledge based bio-economy, Twine highlights the tension between questions of limits and sustainability. This book concludes by considering whether growing counter calls to reduce our consumption of meat/dairy products in the face of climate change threats are in fact complicit with an anthropocentric discourse that would marginalize from its understanding of sustainability a more thorough ethical questioning of normative human/animal relations.