Knowing Animals Reading Group - 29 October 2018 - 'Transparency and the Factory Farm'

This month we meet to discuss Jan Dutkiewicz's 2018 paper "Transparency and the Factory Farm." Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. 18(2): 19-32.

Where: The Linkway, L4, John Medley Building (Building 191), the University of Melbourne
When: 5.30-6.30pm, Monday 29th October, 2018

All welcome, please join us for the discussion


The American meat industry has a fraught relationship with the visibility of its operations and the public narrative about its treatment of animals. As activists have used photographs and videos to reveal the industry's normally hidden practices, those in the meat business have historically pushed back by increasing the secrecy of their operations. However, the last decade has seen the industry turn to a new strategy: aggressive public relations outreach rooted in the paradigm of transparency. Generally, these are highly mediated public relations exercises, but at Indiana's Fair Oaks Farms, tourists are physically invited onto a fully functional hog breeding farm, which doubles as an agritourism destination and a microcosm of the industry's public relations strategy. Fair Oaks relies on both the tropes of alternative farming tourism and on strategic revelation - including literal glass walls - to craft a publicly palatable narrative about factory farming and factory-farmed animals