IntroductionA new book by Cesagen's Dr Richard Twine was published in the UK on the 20th August.
In Animals as Biotechnology, sociologist Richard Twine places the question of human/animal relations at the heart of sustainability and climate change debates. The book is shaped by the emergence of two contradictory trends within our approach to nonhuman animals: the biotechnological turn in animal sciences, which aims to increase the efficiency and profitability of meat and dairy production; and the emerging field of critical animal studies - mostly in the humanities and social sciences - which works to question the nature of our relations with other animals.The first part of the book focuses on ethics, examining critically the dominant paradigms of bioethics and power relations between human and non-human. The second part considers animal biotechnology and political economy, examining commercialisation and regulation. The final part of the book centres on discussions of sustainability, limits and an examination of the prospects for animal ethics if biotechnology becomes part of the dominant agricultural paradigm. Twine concludes by considering whether growing calls to reduce our consumption of meat/dairy products in the face of climate change threats are in fact complicit with an anthropocentric understanding of sustainability and that what is needed is a more fundamental ethical and political questioning of relations and distinctions between humans, animals and nature.
'Richard Twine weaves deftly between 'molecularisation' of animals in biotechnology and growing sensibilities about human-animal relationships. Tensions between these opposing strands raise many questions about what animal science can promise, and - importantly - about implications for sustainability and how we treat other animals who share this earth. Rethinking relationships with other animals is critical for all our futures.'Professor Lynda Birke, University of Chester, UK
'Twine's Animals as Biotechnology adds a much needed perspective to debates surrounding animal life, ethics, capitalism, and emerging animal biotechnologies. Combining cutting-edge interdisciplinary frameworks from critical animal studies with in-depth analyses of the economics and science behind the increasing commodification and production of animals for human consumption, Twine makes a compelling case for the development of a more generous, less anthropocentric approach in our myriad relations with the other-than-human world.'Dr. Matthew Calarco, Associate Professor of Philosophy, California State University at Fullerton, Author of Zoographies: The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida
The book is released in the United States on 28th October 2010.