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Hur blir djur mat?: En kritisk studie av den etiska djurproduktionen i svenska ekologiska organisationer
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).
2023 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
How do animals become food? : A critical study of ethical animal production in Swedish organic organizations (English)
Abstract [en]

Modern Western society is characterized by an increased consumption of animals, which has led to consequences in the form of an intensified exploitation of animals and the environment. The purpose of the dissertation is to examine the processes by which certain animals are made into food, and how power structures between humans and animals are maintained or challenged in Swedish organic organizations. In Sweden, organic certifications offer more ethical and sustainable alternatives for consuming animals. Organic animal production provide openings for destabilizations of power relations, while at the same time also calling attention to the inherent problems of ethical consumption of another being. The study demonstrates how the organizations create the image of organic animal production as sustainable and compassionate. The organic organizations hide compromises between financial gain and animal welfare, as certain aspects of animal welfare and environmental concerns are emphasized, while others are overlooked. Thus, human and financial interests continue to shape the relationship with animals in the organic food industry. 

The study shows how the Swedish organic food sector uses the subjectivities of animals as a tool to transform them into objects for consumption. The animals' agencies both influence and are shaped by the processes in which they are made into food. The study emphasizes a perspective on consumption of animals as being the result of larger infrastructures and a wider societal context, rather than individual choices and attitudes. The dissertation provides an in-depth analysis of how categorizations of certain animals as food are institutionalized, and how this come to be regarded as an objective reality. 

Abstract [sv]

Det moderna västerländska samhället präglas av en ökad konsumtion av djur, vilket har lett till konsekvenser i form av intensifierad exploatering av djur och miljö. Syftet med avhandlingen är att undersöka de processer där vissa djur görs till mat, och hur maktordningen mellan människor och djur upprätthålls eller utmanas i svenska ekologiska organisationer. Ekologiska certifieringar erbjuder mer etiska och hållbara alternativ, vilket både synliggör destabiliseringar av maktrelationer men också begränsningar kring att konsumera någon på ett etiskt sätt. Studien visar hur organisationerna skapar bilder av ekologisk djurproduktion som hållbar och omsorgsfull. De ekologiska organisationerna döljer kompromisser relaterade till lönsamhetsmål, då vissa aspekter av djurvälfärd och miljö betonas medan andra undangöms. Mänskliga och ekonomiska intressen formar därmed fortsatt relationen till djuren.  

Studien visar hur den ekologiska livsmedelssektorns framställningar av djuren som subjekt används för att omvandla dem till objekt. Djurens agentskap både påverkar och formas av de processer där de görs till mat. I avhandlingen analyseras på ett mer fördjupat sätt hur kategoriseringar av djur som mat institutionaliseras, och hur detta i sin tur ses som en objektiv verklighet. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2023. , p. 269
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2023:1
Keywords [en]
animal studies, food animals, organic food sector, meat production, power/knowledge relations, sustainability, ethics, human-animal relations, sociology of knowledge approach to discourse, subject/object
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology; Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-92680ISBN: 978-91-7867-328-5 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-329-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-92680DiVA, id: diva2:1717423
Public defence
2023-02-03, Agardhsalen, 11D 257, Karlstad, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-01-13 Created: 2022-12-08 Last updated: 2023-06-21Bibliographically approved

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Velander, Josefin

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