Amidst Mad Cow scares and consumer concerns about how farm animals are bred, fed, and raised, many farmers and homesteaders are rediscovering the traditional practice of pastoral farming. Grasses, clovers, and forbs are the natural diet of cattle, horses, and sheep, and are vital supplements for hogs, chickens, and turkeys. Consumers increasingly seek the health benefits of meat from animals raised in green paddocks instead of in muddy feedlots.
In All Flesh Is Grass: The Pleasures and Promises of Pasture Farming, Gene Logsdon explains that well-managed pastures are nutritious and palatable—virtual salads for livestock. Leafy pastures also hold the soil, foster biodiversity, and create lovely landscapes. Grass farming might be the solution for a stressed agricultural system based on an industrial model and propped up by federal subsidies.
In his clear and conversational style, Logsdon explains historically effective practices and new techniques. His warm, informative profiles of successful grass farmers offer inspiration and ideas. His narrative is enriched by his own experience as a “contrary farmer” on his artisan-scale farm near Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
All Flesh Is Grass will have broad appeal to the sustainable commercial farmer, the home-food producer, and all consumers who care about their food.
Every day, millions of people around the world sit down to a meal that includes meat. This book explores several questions as it examines the use of animals as food: How did the domestication and production of livestock animals emerge and why? How did current modes of raising and slaughtering animals for human consumption develop, and what are their consequences? What can be done to mitigate and even reverse the impacts of animal production? With insight into the historical, cultural, political, legal, and economic processes that shape our use of animals as food, Fitzgerald provides a holistic picture and explicates the connections in the supply chain that are obscured in the current mode of food production. Bridging the distance in animal agriculture between production, processing, consumption, and their associated impacts, this analysis envisions ways of redressing the negative effects of the use of animals as food. It details how consumption levels and practices have changed as the relationship between production, processing, and consumption has shifted. Due to the wide-ranging questions addressed in this book, the author draws on many fields of inquiry, including sociology, (critical) animal studies, history, economics, law, political science, anthropology, criminology, environmental science, geography, philosophy, and animal science.
Animals under the Swastika
J. W. Mohnhaupt, translated by John R. J. Eyck University of Wisconsin Press, 2022 Library of Congress DD256.5.M56413 2022 | Dewey Decimal 335.6
Never before or since have animals played as significant a role in German history as they did during the Third Reich. Potato beetles and silkworms were used as weapons of war, pigs were used in propaganda, and dog breeding served the Nazis as a model for their racial theories. Paradoxically, some animals were put under special protection while some humans were simultaneously declared unworthy of living. Ultimately, the ways in which Nazis conceptualized and used animals—both literally and symbolically—reveals much about their racist and bigoted attitudes toward other humans.
Drawing from diaries, journals, school textbooks, and printed propaganda, J.W. Mohnhaupt tells these animals’ stories vividly and with an eye for everyday detail, focusing each chapter on a different facet of Nazism by way of a specific animal species: red deer, horses, cats, and more. Animals under the Swastika illustrates the complicated, thought-provoking relationship between Nazis and animals.
The journals and memoirs of 19th century explorers and travelers in the American West often told of viewing buffalo massed together as far as the eye could see. This book appropriately covers the subject of the buffalo as extensively as that animal covered the plains. Other recent accounts of the buffalo have focused on two or three aspects, emphasizing its natural history, the hunters and the hunted in prehistoric time, the relationship between the buffalo and the American Indian. David Dary’s treatment stretches from horizon to horizon. Of course he discusses the origin of the buffalo in North America, its locations and migrations, its habits, its significance and role in both Indian and white cultures, its near demise, its salvation. But more. Dary weaves throughout his fact-filled book fascinating threads of lore and legend of this animal that literally helped mold who and what America is. Further, in addition to detailing the extinction which almost befell this mythic beast and the attempts to give life again to the herds, Dary concentrates significant attention on the buffalo as part of 20th century America in terms of captivity, husbandry, and symbol.
The Buffalo Book rounds up all the contemporary buffalo. Dary has located just about every single buffalo alive today in the United States. He has visited or corresponded with everyone who raises a private or government herd, small or large. He maps their location, size, purpose, future. There are even some instructions about how to raise buffalo if one is so inclined. For the gourmet The Buffalo Book provides a number of recipes, such as Sweetgrass Buffalo and Beer Pie or Buffalo Tips a la Bourgogne. From the buffalo nickel to Wyoming’s state flag, from The University of Colorado’s mascot to Indiana’s state seal, we picture and use the buffalo in hundreds of ways; Dary surveys the 19th and 20th century symbol adaptation of the animal.
Pigs are everywhere in United States history. They cleared frontiers and built cities (notably Cincinnati, once known as Porkopolis), served as an early form of welfare, and were at the center of two nineteenth-century “pig wars.” American pork fed the hemisphere; lard literally greased the wheels of capitalism.
J. L. Anderson has written an ambitious history of pigs and pig products from the Columbian exchange to the present, emphasizing critical stories of production, consumption, and waste in American history. He examines different cultural assumptions about pigs to provide a window into the nation’s regional, racial, and class fault lines, and maps where pigs are (and are not) to reveal a deep history of the American landscape. A contribution to American history, food studies, agricultural history, and animal studies, Capitalist Pigs is an accessible, deeply researched, and often surprising portrait of one of the planet’s most consequential interspecies relationships.
Cattle raising today is the most widely practiced form of agriculture in Alabama and ranks second only to the poultry industry in terms of revenue. Brooks Blevins not only relates the development and importance of the industry to agricultural practices but also presents it as an integral component of southern history, inextricably linked to issues of sectional politics, progressivism, race and class struggles, and rural depopulation. Most historians believe cattle were first introduced by the Spanish explorers and missionaries during the early decades of the 16th century. Native Americans quickly took up cattle raising, and the practice was reinforced with the arrival of the French and the British. By 1819--after massive immigration of Anglo-American herders, farmers, and planters--cattle played an integral role in the territory's agriculture and economy. Despite the dominance of the cotton industry during the antebellum period, cattle herding continued to grow and to become identified as an important part of the region's agriculture.
In the early decades of the 20th century, the boll weevil drove many planters out of the cotton business. These planters adopted a midwestern model of cattle raising consisting of purebred English breeds, enclosed pastures, scientific breeding and feeding practices, and intimate cooperation among cattlemen, government agents, and business interests. This model of farming gradually replaced the open range herding tradition.
A captivating story of the industry's rise in Alabama.
With a wonderful ear for dialogue and in flowing narrative style, Karni Perez weaves together oral histories collected from early hatchery owners, catfish farmers, processors, and researchers to recount the important contributions made by Alabamians to the channel catfish industry. Perez describes the struggles and glories of fish culture from its early days as an experimental venture to the thriving present-day commercial enterprise that supplies warmwater fish for the American food industry.
As Perez states, "The catfish industry started out in Alabama as a do-it-yourself and figure-it out-yourself kind of enterprise." We hear how men who were mostly cattle farmers learned to nudge male and female fish into spawning in crudely constructed aquaria, how growers discovered the dissolved oxygen needs of their "herd" when big die-offs occurred, how Lenson Montz and Otis Breland designed the first paddle aerator to remedy the problem, how farmers eventually trained a bottomfeeding species to rise to the water surface to eat so their numbers could be better estimated. In one dramatic story, we learn how a man experimenting with the first skinning machine lost a piece of his hand in front of a crowd of horrified locals. (After it was retrieved from the skin basket, it was reattached by a town doctor and healed perfectly.) Ironically, the man was a representative of the engineering firm tasked with designing the machine; he had never before seen a catfish in his life. The machine was modified and became an essential component of modern fish processing.
In addition to telling the remarkable stories of individual contributions by farmers and researchers, Perez explains the positive effects played by improved public infrastructure, continued biological research, state legislation, and federal recognition of aquaculture as agriculture.
From Chapter Three:
"You're crazy," the bank officer declared with a friendly chuckle. "Why,
the Warrior River is full of catfish for anyone who wants them. There are
more in there than people will ever eat. And you think you're going to go
sell them when folks can go get them for nothing? That's just a bunch of
From Chapter Two:
“A crop duster's error, a visit by a curious feed company researcher, a
fluke of the weather, a coincidental encounter at a gas station. . . . How
could the three men, or anyone else for that matter, guess that these
chance circumstances would play into the birth of an industry that would
mushroom over the next forty or so years into one of the largest
contributors to the state's economy and that of the entire southeastern
The civitas Batavorum was a settlement on the north-western frontier of the Roman Empire, and it is now the site of numerous archaeological excavations. This book offers the most up-to-date look yet at what has been discovered, using the newest archaeological techniques, about the town and its economy, its military importance, and the religious and domestic buildings it held. It will be essential reading for anyone studying the economy of the Roman provincial countryside or the details of food supply for the Roman army and town.
The connection between people and companion animals has received considerable attention from scholars. In her original and provocative ethnography Livestock/Deadstock, sociologist Rhoda Wilkie asks, how do the men and women who work on farms, in livestock auction markets, and slaughterhouses, interact with—or disengage from—the animals they encounter in their jobs?
Wilkie provides a nuanced appreciation of how those men and women who breed, rear, show, fatten, market, medically treat, and slaughter livestock, make sense of their interactions with the animals that constitute the focus of their work lives. Using a sociologically informed perspective, Wilkie explores their attitudes and behaviors to explain how agricultural workers think, feel, and relate to food animals.
Livestock/Deadstock looks at both people and animals in the division of labor and shows how commercial and hobby productive contexts provide male and female handlers with varying opportunities to bond with and/or distance themselves from livestock. Exploring the experiences of stockpeople, hobby farmers, auction workers, vets and slaughterers, she offers timely insight into the multifaceted, gendered, and contradictory nature of human roles in food animal production.
A deep history of how Renaissance Italy and the Spanish empire were shaped by a lingering fascination with breeding.
The Renaissance is celebrated for the belief that individuals could fashion themselves to greatness, but there is a dark undercurrent to this fêted era of history. The same men and women who offered profound advancements in European understanding of the human condition—and laid the foundations of the Scientific Revolution—were also obsessed with controlling that condition and the wider natural world.
Tracing early modern artisanal practice, Mackenzie Cooley shows how the idea of race and theories of inheritance developed through animal breeding in the shadow of the Spanish Empire. While one strand of the Renaissance celebrated a liberal view of human potential, another limited it by biology, reducing man to beast and prince to stud. “Race,” Cooley explains, first referred to animal stock honed through breeding. To those who invented the concept, race was not inflexible, but the fragile result of reproductive work. As the Spanish empire expanded, the concept of race moved from nonhuman to human animals. Cooley reveals how, as the dangerous idea of controlled reproduction was brought to life again and again, a rich, complex, and ever-shifting language of race and breeding was born.
Adding nuance and historical context to discussions of race and human and animal relations, The Perfection of Nature provides a close reading of undertheorized notions of generation and its discontents in the more-than-human world.
Winner of the 2021 Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize from the British Agricultural History Society 2020 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Winner of the 2020 Turriano Prize from ICOHTEC Short-listed and highly commended for the Antibiotic Guardian Award from Public Health England Long-listed for the Michel Déon Prize from the Royal Irish Academy
Pyrrhic Progress analyses over half a century of antibiotic use, regulation, and resistance in US and British food production. Mass-introduced after 1945, antibiotics helped revolutionize post-war agriculture. Food producers used antibiotics to prevent and treat disease, protect plants, preserve food, and promote animals’ growth. Many soon became dependent on routine antibiotic use to sustain and increase production. The resulting growth of antibiotic infrastructures came at a price. Critics blamed antibiotics for leaving dangerous residues in food, enabling bad animal welfare, and selecting for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria, which could no longer be treated with antibiotics. Pyrrhic Progress reconstructs the complicated negotiations that accompanied this process of risk prioritization between consumers, farmers, and regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. Unsurprisingly, solutions differed: while Europeans implemented precautionary antibiotic restrictions to curb AMR, consumer concerns and cost-benefit assessments made US regulators focus on curbing drug residues in food. The result was a growing divergence of antibiotic stewardship and a rise of AMR. Kirchhelle’s comprehensive analysis of evolving non-human antibiotic use and the historical complexities of antibiotic stewardship provides important insights for current debates on the global burden of AMR. This Open Access ebook is available under a CC-BY-NC-ND license, and is supported by a generous grant from Wellcome Trust.