Genes, Robots, and Toxicity: the Haunted Landscapes of Milk Production

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This comprehensive essay looks into the relationship between humans and Dutch dairy cattle, which of course involves exploitation and cruelty. Víctor Muñoz Sanz aims to »think along how we stopped caring about our cows as companions and how to move forward.« Introducing the concept of cow’s »Five Freedoms« – freedom from hunger, discomfort, pain, and stress, and to express their natural behavior, he exposes these codes that were released from the UK Farm Welfare Council in the nineteen-sixties as one reason to justify automated solutions for dairy farming. Today, with increasing ammonia emissions, the industry with its violent modern reproduction methods along with its automated barns is confronted with demands from NGOs for drastic measures: cutting the farm-animal population by half to protect nature and biodiversity. According to Sanz, this is the industry’s »battle against its own ghosts and monsters,« again clashing with the interests of the animals involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-67
JournalSolitude Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Issue 1: Collective Care & Response-ability


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