FARM animals

Farm: The second meeting of British Animal Studies Network in Glasgow, took place on Friday 16 November and Saturday 17 November 2012 at the University of Strathclyde. They’ve generously posted audio of all the talks:


Erica Fudge (University of Strathclyde) [to listen to the welcome click here]

Plenary 1

Henry Buller (Exeter University), ‘The One and the Many: Interkingdoms, (un)Natural Participations and the Farm’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Panel 1: Agriculture and Animal Health.

Chair: Erica Fudge (University of Strathclyde)

Richard Thomas (Leicester University), ‘“How you ought to keep your beasts….”: livestock healthcare and welfare in archaeological perspective’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Abigail Woods (Imperial College London), ‘Dairy farming, veterinary science and the bovine mastitis problem in Britain, 1930-2010’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Angela Cassidy (Imperial College London), ‘Representations and risks of humans and other animals in the One Health movement(s)’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Plenary 2

Rhoda Wilkie (Aberdeen University), ‘Working with Food Animals: Ambiguous Encounters and Neglected Labour at the Byre-Face’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Panel 2: Reconsidering the Farm Animal.

Chair: Clare Palmer (Texas A&M University)

Emma Roe (University of Southampton) ‘The farm animal as a visceral “object”’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Roxanna Lynch (Swansea University), ‘Caring for Farm Animals?’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Panel 3: Critical Perspectives on Human-Animal-Technology Relations.

Chair: Chris Bear (Cardiff University)

Lewis Holloway (Hull University), Chris Bear (Cardiff University) and Katy Wilkinson (University of Warwick), ‘Robotic milking technologies and the renegotiation of situated ethical relationships on UK dairy farms’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Richard Twine (Lancaster University), ‘Animals on Drugs – Understanding the role of pharmaceutical companies in the animal-industrial complex’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Panel 4 Re-conceptualising Farming.

Chair: Robert McKay (Sheffield University)

John Miller (Sheffield University), ‘In Vitro Meat and Environmental Aesthetics’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Kim Baker ‘Picturing Pigs, Depicting Pigmen: how pig industry advertising strategies reveal the unseen idioms of farm animal production’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Plenary 3

Mara Miele (Cardiff University) ‘A Version of Emotions: The Brave Sheep’ [to listen to the paper click here]

Past BASN meetings include Wild, which also looks great.

New (old) books

Excited to receive reprints of these classic texts for one of the summer projects we’re working on:

Full text

Full text

But… Is it the Internet of Things?

Are you designing for the Internet of Things?

Haiyan Zhang made a clever little website to help you know for sure:

Is it the Internet of Things?

Favourite questions: Does it stalk you? Is it the future? Did BERG make it?

Future fossils, and the impact of agriculture

Leaving our mark: Fossils of the future

“[W]hat traces of human civilisation would future scientists find in the strata of the Anthropocene epoch?

One feature of the fossil record we are creating for the basal Anthropocene strata is unlike any past geological transition.

Millions of years from now, palaeontologists will likely excavate a disproportionately large number of bones belong to large to medium-sized mammals. Weirdly, they may think, the fossils are almost entirely of just a small handful of species. And their bones are on every continent apart from Antarctica.

Their discoveries will be a sample of our cows, sheep, goats and pigs which we have selected, transported and reared in their billions to feed the seven billion of us.”

“Consider animal demographics in an intensive agricultural world, says Jan Zalasiewicz: “Instead of having a natural terrestrial ecosystem consisting of two or three hundred vertebrate species all coexisting and all being moderately common, we and the creatures we keep have suddenly exploded as populations.”

About 60% of the weight of all the back-boned animals on the Earth’s surface today is our livestock. The mass of all the people takes up another 30%. The remaining nine or so percent is all of the wild creatures.

Any individual land animal’s chances of being fossilised are extremely poor … However, [some] researchers speculate that enough livestock die on the range or get swept away in floods for them to take more than their fair share of the coming palaeontological limelight in the Anthropocene boundary layers.”

NZ merino lambs FTW

Seriously. Cute.

These week-old merino lambs at Mangaiti Station had been separated from their mothers and were being raised in the Thompson family’s front garden. At this age they require bottle feeding several times a day, but when they’re ready to forage they’ll be returned to the flock.

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