Platter of cheese and crackers

For the Food Values Research Group’s September seminar, we present a double header featuring the work of two of our advanced postgraduate students. Each talk takes a very different approach to studying values around meat consumption.

Where are the women? Intersectionality as a tool to make peace with my inner feminist when talking about meat, cultural difference and animals

Ms Yvette Wijnandts, PhD Candidate, School of Humanities, University of Adelaide

Yvette Wijnandts pic“Intersectionality” is, at its core, a feminist concept. First used by feminist and critical race scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989; 1991), it described the precarious position of black women in the American legal system. Quickly, it became a buzzword within feminist theory and now the popularity of the concept amongst all ranges of the social sciences and humanities has, arguably, alienated it from feminism all together. To a certain extent, the same has happened to my research. Identifying myself first and foremost as a feminist scholar, often I cannot help but wonder whether this is justifiable when my research focusses on cultural difference and animals, but not on women. As a feminist scholar, the disappearance of women from feminist theories and concepts seems like reason for panic but during this presentation I aim to make a convincing argument that moving beyond women can be an act of feminism too.

This paper presents my search towards the meaning and value of the concept of “intersectionality” in my research towards the intersection of cultural and species difference in discourses surrounding practices of eating animals. In the Netherlands, it is illegal to slaughter animals without sedating first, except when this is required for religious diets. Yet, since 2012 this exception became scrutinised in Dutch politics, leading to large public debates about this matter. Whereas previous research has looked at intersections between sexual and racial difference and meat (i.e. Adams, 2015; Singer, 1975), this has been done from a more moralistic perspective than I aim to do. Instead, I use intersectionality to examine the power relations that influence how species and cultural identities become constructed in debates that supposedly only discuss animal rights. More specifically, looking at un-sedated religious slaughtering, I aim to examine how the Islamic and Jewish population were represented in different manners during these discourses, while the exception in the law affected both groups similarly.

Yvette Wijnandts has a background in gender and ethnicity studies. For her PhD research at the University of Adelaide, she uses postcolonial theory and critical feminist theory on ethics to gain a deeper understanding of the discourses surrounding animals in the food industry. She aims to show how different structures of power intersect, specifically that of culture and religion, with the issue of animal rights in a globalizing world.

Australian meat consumers and their concerns about sheep and beef cattle transportation and slaughter

Ms Emily Buddle, PhD Candidate, School of Humanities, University of Adelaide

Emily BuddleMeat consumers are increasingly interested in livestock production practices. There is tension between the desire to consume meat and wanting to make ‘ethical’ food choices. In 2015 and 2016, sixty-six meat consumers from Australia participated in focus groups and interviews, structured around topics such as on-farm welfare and meat purchasing decisions. While exploring how Australian meat consumers conceptualise animal welfare, the transportation and slaughter of sheep and beef cattle were highlighted as key areas of concern, including road transport and shipping conditions related to live export.

Emily Buddle is a PhD candidate within the Food Values Research Group and the University of Adelaide. Her project is part of the ARC Linkage Project “Getting to the meat of the matter”. She has been exploring the attitudes of Australian meat consumers about animal welfare in the sheep and beef cattle industries. Emily has enjoyed coupling her passion for Australian agriculture with developing new skills in social science methodologies during her PhD and wishes to continue in a similar space post-PhD.

When: Tuesday, 5th of September, 1-2 PM

Where: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide (click here for campus map)

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Rachel Ankeny on the Knowing Animals podcastProf. Rachel Ankeny recently joined the Knowing Animals podcast to discuss buying free range eggs. The episode focused on her journal article co-authored with Heather Bray. The article is titled ‘Happy Chickens Lay Tastier Eggs: Motivations for Buying Free-range Eggs in Australia’. It was published in the journal Anthrozoos in May 2017.

This episode of Knowing Animals is brought to you by the Australasian Animal Studies Association. Find them online here: http://animalstudies.org.au.

 

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For our August seminar, the Food Values Research Group is pleased to present:

Exploring agrobiodiversity to generate resilience

Dr Douglas Bardsley, Senior Lecturer, Geography, Environment & Population, University of Adelaide

Dr Douglas BardsleyDiversity within systems provides opportunities for complex adaptative responses to external drivers of change. That is true for agricultural systems where farmers and their associated industries must respond rapidly to risks, and especially if they have limited access to external support, such as financial capital, agro-inputs or information. Agricultural biodiversity theory will be framed initially based on the author’s research from Turkey and Switzerland. Recent work with Dr Elisa Palazzo in the McLaren Vale region, South Australia suggests that the values of agrobiodiversity are also being understood by local farmers at field, farm and regional levels. Such values of agrobiodiversity could be formally recognised within policy to better support resilience within farming systems experiencing climate change and market competition.

Douglas Bardsley is Senior Lecturer in Geography, Environment & Population at the University of Adelaide. For the last 20 years, he has been researching opportunities to respond to risks within agricultural and food systems in Australia, Asia and Europe. Key risks that he has worked on include the loss of diversity within agricultural systems, climate change, resource constraints, globalisation of supply chains, out-migration from rural areas, and education systems.

When: Tuesday, 8th of August, 1-2 PM

Where: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide (click here for campus map)

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We are constantly receiving information on nutrition and food from scientists, government, media, marketers, and our friends and family. But still many of us make poor dietary decisions and fall for diet trends like Paleo, gluten free or superfoods. Does this onslaught of nutrition information (mis)inform our dietary practices? Food Values researcher Dr Jessica Loyer explored […]

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Food Values Research Group convener Professor Rachel Ankeny recently presented a keynote address on animal welfare and consumer attitudes at the Animal Intersections conference (3-5 July) at the University of Adelaide. Her keynote address, “Exploring the Intersections of Consumer and Citizen Attitudes toward Animal Welfare,” discussed the notion of “food citizenship” as a valuable approach to public […]

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For our July seminar, the Food Values Research Group is pleased to present: Reading (Not-)Eating in the works of Emily and Charlotte Brontë Ms Sarah Pearce, Doctoral Candidate in English, Flinders University This seminar offers a contemporary feminist reading of the cluster of themes surrounding consumption and food in Jane Eyre (1847) and Villette (1853) by […]

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For our June seminar, the Food Values Research Group is pleased to present: Do Healthy Diets Differ in Their Sensory Characteristics? Dr David Cox, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences The relationship between sensory characteristics of foods, healthy diets and weight status is not well established (Cox et al, 2016); however, knowledge could […]

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Dr Susie Chant, a recent Food Values Research Group Phd graduate, was involved in the South Australian local foods phenomenon long before she decided to research and write about the topic. She ran several award-winning restaurants before earning a Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence for her dissertation, A History of Local Foods in Australia 1788 – […]

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For our May seminar, the Food Values Research Group is pleased to present: Mindless Meat Eating: The Role of Cognitive Dissonance and Negative Emotions in the Consumption of Animals Dr Carolyn Semmler, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Adelaide We consume animals and yet also state that we love, respect and care for them. […]

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For the second Food Values Research Group Seminar of 2017, we are pleased to present two talks from the leaders of our research group: Designer babies, human-pig chimeras, and mosquitos: How gene editing is being made public in Australia Dr Heather Bray, Senior Research Fellow, School of Humanities, University of Adelaide Gene editing is a term […]

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