Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Visibility and Invisibility of Pigs: Posts for the Humane Research Council

I have contributed a couple of short articles to the Humane Research Council blog (HumaneSpot.org) that concern my ongoing interest in "how distance and concealment operate as mechanisms of power in modern society," as Timothy Pachirat has succinctly put it in the introduction to Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight (Yale, 2011), his important ethnographic study of the modern industrial cattle slaughterhouse. The first of these two posts (here) deals with the visibility of pigs in cities. The second post (here) looks at the changing status of slaughter and the slaughterhouse. I hope you find them both interesting.

This image is a lithography depicting White's Great Cattle Show and Grand Procession of the Victuallers of Philadelphia, which took place on March 15, 1821. After displaying "improved" cattle, hogs, and sheep during the week prior, more than 86,000 pounds of meat was paraded through the city for a crowd in the tens of thousands. A pretty remarkable example of the visibility of meat production at an earlier moment in American history.

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