Sustainable Animal Production in Denmark. Anthropological Interventions

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In 2020, Denmark passed a new Climate Act. Labelled one of the world’s most ambitious, the law explicitly obliges the country to be a global frontrunner in the green transition. Zooming in on the large Danish animal production sector, this article analyzes how ambitious climate goals are addressed by industrial, political, and scientific stakeholders in the sector. Based on the method of anthropological fieldwork, and theoretically informed by relational and performative approaches, as well as science and technology studies, the article explores how sustainability features in documents, policies, strategies, research presentations, and other outputs on Danish livestock, with the aim of understanding how an intensified animal production sector aligns itself with the green agenda. Accordingly, the article describes the work of sustainability and finds that a sustainable livestock industry is commonly articulated by making some units of animal production visible as central while ignoring or downplaying others. The analysis shows a Danish livestock sector that appears to consist of particular entities that science, industry, and politics can intervene in, manage, connect, and disconnect in specific selective ways. Altogether, the paper argues that this caters to a relative sustainability—a production sector seen as greener than others (per unit produced)—which, in turn, allows for it to ignore local responsibilities for planetary boundaries, even as Danish animal production is posited as a common, natural, and global good. The anthropological mode of analysis is an intervention that qualifies how such naturalization plays out.
Udgave nummer9
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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