Geographies of Meat: Politics, Economy and Culture, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Geographies of Meat

Politics, Economy and Culture, 1st Edition

By Harvey Neo, Jody Emel


179 pages

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With the ever rising demand for meat around the world, the production of meat has changed dramatically in the past few decades. What has brought about the increasing popularity and attendant normalization of factory farms across many parts of the world? What are some of the ways to resist such broad convergences in meat production and how successful are they?

This book locates the answers to these questions at the intersection between the culture, science and political economy of meat production and consumption. It details how and why techniques of production have spread across the world, albeit in a spatially uneven way. It argues that the modern meat production and consumption sphere is the outcome of a complex matrix of cultural politics, economics and technological faith. Drawing from examples across the world (including America, Europe and Asia), the tensions and repercussions of meat production and consumption are also analyzed.

From a geographical perspective, food animals have been given considerably less attention compared to wild animals or pets. This book, framed conceptually by critical animal studies, governmentality and commodification, is a theoretically driven and empirically rich study that advances the study of food animals in geography as well as in the wider social sciences.


"The book expands on critical animalgeographies by focusing on farmed animals, a category which has been largely overlooked. Further, by addressing hierarchy in human-animal relationships, Geographies of Meat also extends and applies concepts from anarchist geography to farmed animals. In Western societies meat is coming to a crossroads, but is finding new markets elsewhere, mostly in Asia. This makes the timing of Geographies of Meat all the more important."

Nathan Poirier Anthrozoology Canisius College, Antipode

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Political Economy of Meat: Global Trends and Local Tensions 3. Science, Technology and the Commodification of Food Animals 4. The Global Meat Factory and the Environment 5. The Thanataopolitics of Industrialised Animal Life and Death 6. On Not Eating Meat: Vegetarianism, Science and Advocacy 7. Conclusions, Index

About the Authors

Harvey Neo is an associate professor at the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore. His research interests include the political economy of meat, green urban development and geographies of food. He is an at-large board member of the Animal Geography Specialty Group at the Association of American Geographers, and editor of Geoforum and associate editor of Regional Studies, Regional Science.

Jody Emel is a professor at the Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, USA. Her research interests include animal geographies, political economy of mining and water resources. Her current research focuses on the political ecology of factory farming. She teaches courses in natural resource development, feminist theory and nature, hydrology, and the relationship between economy and environment.

About the Series

Critical Food Studies

Critical Food Studies
The study of food has seldom been more pressing or prescient. From the intensifying globalization of food, a world-wide food crisis and the continuing inequalities of its production and consumption, to food's exploding media presence, and its growing re-connections to places and people through 'alternative food movements', this series promotes critical explorations of contemporary food cultures and politics. Building on previous but disparate scholarship, its overall aims are to develop innovative and theoretical lenses and empirical material in order to contribute to - but also begin to more fully delineate - the confines and confluences of an agenda of critical food research and writing. Of particular concern are original theoretical and empirical treatments of the materialisations of food politics, meanings and representations, the shifting political economies and ecologies of food production and consumption and the growing transgressions between alternative and corporatist food networks.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography