Paper Session 472: Open Topic on Animals and Society (Lisa Jean Moore, Organizer)
Exploring Carnism at a HBCU in the Heart of Delmarva's Poultry Industrial Complex
Lee G. Streetman, Delaware State University
This paper examines Although studies of the relationship between animal abuse and intimate partner violence have proliferated in recent years, building upon previous work and making cross-study comparisons has been rendered difficult by the utilization of differing operationalizations and measurements of animal maltreatment within this literature. This paper aims to mitigate this problem going forward by introducing and detailing a scale of animal maltreatment by romantic partners developed and tested with a sample of women who self-identify as victims of intimate partner violence. The Partner’s Treatment of Animals Scale (PTAS) is comprised of five sub-scales (emotional animal abuse, threats to harm animals, animal neglect, physical animal abuse, and severe animal abuse) and has strong demonstrated reliability. The construction of the scale and sub-scales is presented in this paper, and recommendations are made for employing the PTAS in subsequent studies.
On Multi-Species Democracy
Stephen Patrick Vrla, Michigan State University
Humans live in a more-than-human community, but we make political decisions through an all-too-.human democracy. For example, we share our backyards with sparrows and squirrels and our roads with geese and deer; however, when we when we come into conflict with these animals, we tend to respond to the conflicts without considering the animals’ own interests. In this paper, I theorize how we might change our all-too-human democracy in light of our more-than-human community. First, I describe two theoretical approaches to changing our democracy: a reformative approach that would entail keeping its human foundation but extending its structures to animals and nature; and a transformative approach that would entail replacing its foundations and structures. Both approaches have strengths, but both also have limitations. Ultimately, I argue that we should take a third, pragmatic approach to changing our democracy that would entail extending its structures to animals and nature in the short term and replacing its foundations in the long term. To develop this approach, I synthesize John Dewey’s classical work in political theory on the role of communication in democracy with Eduardo Kohn’s contemporary work in cultural anthropology on the potential for multispecies communication. In conclusion, I outline a theory of multispecies democracy and suggest how we might begin putting it into practice.
Getting Blood from a Crab: Biomedicine and Horseshoe Crabs
Lisa Jean Moore, State University of New York - Purchase College
Discovered in 1956 by Frederick Bang, gram-negative bacteria must be identified during medical procedures to avoid contamination of instruments and transmission to patients. In 1964, limulus amoebocyte lysate (LAL) was discovered as an effective pryogen test. Limulus blood is copper based (turning blue in air, unlike humans’ red blood) and reacts to endotoxins by forming a gel when in contact with the substance. During the 1970s, LAL was approved for testing of drugs, blood products, and other devices. In 1987, after a series of tests, LAL was mandated by the FDA to be used on all “human and animal parenteral drugs, biological products, and medical devices” In the United States, 70 million units of LAL are used annually. There are applications of the LAL test in all sorts of pharmaceutical preparations including vaccines, bio-products, IV muscular drugs, surgical tubing and plasma protein. The pharmaceutical industry is deeply secretive about biomedical collection, payment and distribution of LAL.
From what we do know biomedical bleeding of crabs uses a cardiac puncture to collect between 25 and 40% of their blood and then they are released and returned to the sea. There is an industry-set standard acceptable rate of 15% mortality that must be maintained before return to sea. Many humans are not aware of our deep medical reliance on horseshoe crabs.
This talk will examine the sociological implications of bleeding horseshoe crabs and the global biopharma demand for blood.
Standardizing the Measurement of Animal Maltreatment in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence
Amy J. Fitzgerald, University of Windsor; Rachael Leah Shwom, State University of New Jersey - Rutgers
Although studies of the relationship between animal abuse and intimate partner violence have proliferated in recent years, building upon previous work and making cross-study comparisons has been rendered difficult by the utilization of differing operationalizations and measurements of animal maltreatment within this literature. This paper aims to mitigate this problem going forward by introducing and detailing a scale of animal maltreatment by romantic partners developed and tested with a sample of women who self-identify as victims of intimate partner violence. The Partner’s Treatment of Animals Scale (PTAS) is comprised of five sub-scales (emotional animal abuse, threats to harm animals, animal neglect, physical animal abuse, and severe animal abuse) and has strong demonstrated reliability. The construction of the scale and sub-scales is presented in this paper, and recommendations are made for employing the PTAS in subsequent studies.
A moment at the Animals and Society Section Business Meeting
Left to right: Lisa Jean Moore, Past Chair; Andrea Laurent-Simpson, recipient; Michelle Proctor, Chair
Kari Brandt, Associate Professor of Sociology and Gender / Women's Studies
for 2016 Teaching Award
David Grazian, Associate Professor of Sociology and Graduate Chair for
American Zoo: A Sociological Safari (Princeton Univ. Press, 2015)
SEATTLE a garden in a city
Paper Session 576: Seen and Unseen:The Role of Visibility in Humans' Use of Nonhuman Animals (Kathryn Asher, Organizer)
Perverse Visibilities?: Foregrounding Non-human Animals in Ethical and Sustainable Meat Consumption
Paula Arcari, RMIT University
The invisibility of meat production operations and their associated non-human animals is commonly understood as a causal factor in the use of non-human animals as food. This paper critically explores this assumption using empirical evidence from a study of producers and consumers of ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ meat in Melbourne, Australia. ‘Ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ meat is emerging in Australia (and elsewhere) as a humane and environmentally friendly alternative to factory farmed meat and promotes greater visibility of the non-human animals and operations in question. Rather than challenging the use of non-human animals as food, I find that increased visibility of production processes, and direct contact with ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ non-human animals, even during their killing, seems to quell any discomfort and resettle consumers in new and ‘improved’ practices of meat consumption. Drawing on notions of de- and re-fetishisation, I explore this further before problematizing the notion of visibility and the ‘gaze’ from a visual culture perspective, highlighting how it emphasises and extends notions of entitlement and control. I argue that the emergence of more ‘visible’ meat—ethical, sustainable, environmentally friendly—is facilitated by the tendency of advocacy and dietary campaigns to focus on issues associated with *meat* while neglecting the underlying and persistent normalisation of non-human animals as food. Markets respond by co-opting and commodifying these issues. I propose expanding the scope of meat-oriented campaigns to include non-human animals and thereby introduce the possibility of a more profound challenge to the status quo regarding both meat *and* non-human animals.
Flexible (In)Commensurabilities: The Scientific Construction of Nonhuman Primates as Subjects in Biomedical Experiments
Kimberly Kelly, University of Arizona
Recent scholarship on clinical trials and biomedical research by medical anthropologists and other social scientists has focused on the inequalities in science related to racialization, commodification and transnational marketization of bodies, DNA, organs, and blood. Additionally, social scientists have devoted considerable time discussing “bare life,” sacrifice, worthiness, and commensurability between human bodies in clinical trials. The majority of scholarship on commensurability of bodies in science has focused on Phase 1-4 clinical trials using human-to-human data. Relatively little attention has been given to pre-clinical studies designed to provide critical animal data used to establish drug safety and design first-in-human studies. Just as in human clinical trials where study subjects’ defining characteristics must be “flattened” to allow for comparisons within and across groups, the construction of animals as “suitable” proxies for human bodies in biomedical research requires that they too be constructed as commensurate for humans. However, in the process of constructing animal bodies as commensurate for human ones, scientists simultaneously engage in a process of valuation that renders them as incommensurate for human bodies. Incommensuration is critical to this process so that animals can be separated and set apart from humans and used in experiments that cannot pragmatically and/or ethically be conducted in humans. Using data from interviews with scientists who conduct invasive biomedical research with nonhuman primates and research scientists who do not, this paper provides a unique opportunity to explore the often invisible social processes by which scientists construct animals as proxies for human bodies in biomedical research.
Challenges and Triumphs of Humane Education Service Learning: Promoting Social Justice for Non-human Animals
Michelle Marie Proctor, Madonna University
Despite lingering resistance of this relatively new area, the study of nonhuman animals and people’s relationships with them is a growing and exciting field within contemporary sociology. By understanding animals in this cultural construction and by continuing to move nonhuman animals into the realm of “sociological visibility” we can learn about the shared interactional life of people and animals and enrich the sociological imagination. The introduction of humane education as a discipline has helped to foster a partnership between it and sociology, assisting in expanding substantive and theoretical understanding of social processes, interactions and relationships impelled by the understanding that other animals are always cultural constructions, and that by understanding this cultural construction, we can foster a more just society. The sociology curriculum is well-suited for helping students develop their sensibilities and social responsibilities toward others, particularly when utilizing service learning as a vehicle for community-based social engagement. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how a curriculum that includes humane education in conjunction with service learning can promote and implement opportunities for students to become aware of power inequalities that exist within society generally, and more specifically how they can develop and promote a sense of social justice for non-human animals. Logistical and ethical challenges regarding service learning venues are explored, specifically those involved with the perception of zoos in the animal rights/welfare community. The overall beneficial outcomes of providing service-learning opportunities as a means to expand students’ conceptions and knowledge of animals in society are highlighted.
Becoming a Birder: Seeing Birds and the Politics of Attention
Elizabeth Cherry, Manhattanville College
How do people learn to appreciate wildlife? Most sociological research on human-wildlife relations involves hunting, poaching, or wildlife captured for entertainment in aquariums, circuses or zoos. However, wildlife appreciation as a hobby is widespread in the phenomenon of birding. In this paper I seek to understand how people develop symbiotic, sympathetic, and productive relationships with wildlife through birding. Using ethnographic data from birding walks with local birding organizations, I found that birders learn to develop a variety of strategies for appreciating and understanding birds, other wildlife, and the natural world. First, birders learn to appreciate not only seeing birds, but also hearing them. That being said, birders still want to see the birds. Thus second, birders learn how to find the birds they wish to see. Third, birders learn to develop specificity in their observation and identification of birds. Finally, the guides giving the birding walks seek to develop birders’ agency and attention to flora and fauna. By fully paying attention to all of the aspects of the natural environment, birding organizations seek to encourage an appreciative relationship with birds, other animals, and their habitats. This paper contributes to sociological research on human-animal relationships, culture and cognition, and environmental sociology.
Animals and Society Reception,
Monday 6:30 PM, Hotel Andra, the Loft
All vegetarian, home of the Hot Stove Society
Faces at the Reception
SEATTLE at dusk