• Milking economies: Multispecies entanglements in the infant formula industry

    Claudia Hirtenfelder (see profile) , Carolyn Prouse
    Animal Studies, Bovine Scholarship Network
    Animals--Study and teaching, Human geography, Economics
    Item Type:
    dairy, infant formula, milk, Multispecies entanglement, transnational markets, Animal studies, Political economy
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    In 2016 the Chinese infant formula company Feihe International signed a deal with the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) to process Canadian cows’ and goats’ milk for infant formula export to China. Our purpose in this paper is to understand how this deal – and the new Feihe formula factory located in Kingston, Canada – is underpinned by a series of multispecies entanglements across cow, human and goat mothers in China and Canada. To do so, we analyse official correspondence between the CDC, Feihe and City of Kingston; market reports for the dairy, goat and infant formula industries; and news articles about the Feihe infant formula plant. Conceptually, we develop an anti-colonial, multispecies entanglement framework to chart the violent inclusions, exclusions and typologizations that make milk and formula economies possible. We are specifically interested in how the Feihe–CDC deal (re)configures entanglements across species, nation, race, science and motherhood. To understand these relations, we heuristically imbricate two different sets of entanglements that underpin this deal: milk drinking, empire and genetic purity across race, breed and species; and motherhood, science and technology across humans, goats and cows. We use our threefold entanglement framework to better understand the violence of these imbrications and to work towards a multispecies feminist ethic in the infant formula industry.
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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