Lecture: Erin McKenna

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Cows and Chickens: An Ecofeminist Pragmatist Perspective on Livestock

This paper will examine some of the important connections among women, cows, and chickens. For much of humans' agricultural history, milking cows and raising chickens was considered women's work. Further, milk and eggs are the "products" of female animal beings--human and other animal beings. For some ecofeminists this creates a special connection and a special obligation not to partake of these agricultural products. The ecofeminist perspectives of Carol Adams and Val Plumwood will be used to examine the history and consequences of this intertwining of the lives and deaths of women, cows, and chickens. The philosophical school of thought known as American Pragmatism will be used to suggest some possible changes in the human relationship with cows and chickens that would increase the possibility of respecting their lives, as well as the lives of human women.

McKenna visits UGA from Pacific Lutheran University. A reception will follow the lecture.