Knowledge for better food systems

Blog: Degrowth’s relation to animal agriculture

This blog post by Joe Herbert, PhD student in Human Geography at Newcastle University and editor for, argues that the degrowth movement (which advocates for shrinking economic activity) has not sufficiently considered the role of animals in its vision of a “just and redistributive downscaling of material and energetic throughput in wealthy countries as a means to achieve ecological sustainability”.

Herbert argues that industrial animal agriculture in wealthy countries falls within the category of industries that should be downscaled, being (he argues) unnecessary and ecologically damaging.

He further argues that, while the degrowth movement has paid much attention to transforming human relations from those that are commodified (i.e. traded) to those that are based on “cooperation and solidarity”, the movement has neglected to consider the experiences of animals beyond the environmental impacts of farming. He calls for the degrowth movement to incorporate consideration of animal liberation into its vision of “justice for and between humans, ecosystems, and animals”.

Read the full blog post here. See also the Foodsource building block What is animal welfare?

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