1st Edition

Live, Die, Buy, Eat A Cultural History of Animals and Meat

By Kristian Bjørkdahl, Karen V. Lykke Copyright 2023
    320 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    320 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Live, Die, Buy, Eat. These words represent a chain of events which today is disconnected. In the past few years, controversies around meat have arisen around industrialization and globalization of meat production, often pivoting around health, environmental issues, and animal welfare. Although meat increasingly figures as a problem, most consumers’ knowledge of animal husbandry and meat production is more absent than ever. Tracing a historical process of alienation along three distinct axes, the authors show how the animal origin of meat is covered up, rationalized, forgotten, excused, neglected, and denied. How is meat produced today, and where? How do we consume meat, and how have our consumption habits changed? Why have these changes occurred, and what are the social and cultural consequences of these changes? Using Norway as a case study, this book examines the dramatic changes in meat production and consumption over the last 150 years. With a wide range of historical sources, together with interviews and observation at farms, slaughterhouses, and production units, as well as analyses of contemporary texts and digital sources, Live, Die, Buy, Eat explores the transformation of animal husbandry, meat production and consumption, together with its cultural consequences. It will appeal to scholars of anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, geography, and history with an interest in food, agriculture, environment, and culture.

    1. Introduction
    2. Live
    3. Die
    4. Buy
    5. Eat
    6. Conclusion
    7. Sources and References
    8. Bibliography


    Kristian Bjørkdahl is a rhetoric scholar who holds a PhD in rhetoric from the University of Oslo, Norway, where he is Associate Professor at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies. He does work on moral and political rhetoric, the idea of the Nordics, pandemic preparedness and response, as well as on research communication. He is co-editor of several books, including Rhetorical Animals: Boundaries of the Human in the Study of Persuasion (Lexington 2018), Pandemics, Publics, and Politics: Staging Responses to Public Health Crises (Palgrave Macmillan 2019), and Do-Gooders at the End of Aid: Scandinavian Humanitarianism in the 21st Century (Cambridge 2021). He is also co-editor of the Norwegian language rhetoric magazine Kairos.

    Karen V. Lykke is an agronomist and an ethnologist, and holds a PhD in cultural history from the University of Oslo, Norway, where she is Professor at the Centre for Development and the Environment. Her research interests pivot around landscape history and the cultural history of food. Her most recent books are the co-edited volumes Sustainable Consumption and the Good Life: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Routledge 2015), Denialism in Environmental and Animal Abuse: Averting Our Gaze (Lexington 2021), and Changing Meat Cultures: Food Practices, Global Capitalism, and the Consumption of Animals (Rowman & Littlefield 2021).