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Disciplining animals: sentience, production, and critique

Anna Williams (Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 1 September 2004

Abstract

This essay critiques the assertion that an appreciation of animal sentience necessarily runs counter to their exploitation as industrial resources. It is argued that the U.S. meatpacking industry has consistently engaged animals as sentient creatures in order to elicit behavior that enhances manufacturing efficiency. This discipline of animals in and around the packing plant is exemplified in Temple Grandin’s “humane” slaughter technologies. The author suggests that even as the representation of these innovations tends to obscure the role of labor in industrial meat production, they demonstrate that discipline is a cross‐species regime, recasting the packing plant as a continuum of violence.

Keywords

Citation

Williams, A. (2004), "Disciplining animals: sentience, production, and critique", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 24 No. 9, pp. 45-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330410790768

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited