Article written by 2008 DPDF Animal Studies Fellow and 2009 IDRF Fellow Rebecca J. Woods, featured in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Volume 35, No. 1:
During the nineteenth century, efforts to feed Britain’s growing industrial and urban population enrolled vast swaths of the Southern Hemisphere in producing meat for British tables. This system relied on refrigerated shipping and was concurrent with efforts to improve and regulate the conditions of slaughter within Great Britain, in which the act of killing receded from public view. Drawing on the satirical fiction of Samuel Butler and the work of anthropologist Noelie Vialles, Woods’s article argues that the relocation of part of the work of raising and rendering sheep for consumption in Britain extended a general distancing of live animal and dead meat on an imperial scale. The outcome of this was not only economic and ecological change throughout much of the Southern Hemisphere, but also the reformulation of colonial flocks to suit the new trade in frozen meat.