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Death in the wrong place? Emotional geographies of the UK 2001 foot and mouth disease epidemic.

Convery, Ian and Bailey, Cathy and Mort, Maggie and Baxter, Josephine (2005) Death in the wrong place? Emotional geographies of the UK 2001 foot and mouth disease epidemic. Journal of Rural Studies, 21 (1). pp. 99-109.

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Abstract

In this paper, we draw on the concept of ‘lifescape’ (Somé and McSweeney, ILEIA Newsletter, ETC Leusden, The Netherlands, 1996; Howorth, Rebuilding the Local Landscape, Ashgate, Aldershot, 1999) to capture the spatial, emotional and ethical dimensions of the relationship between landscape, livestock and farming community and to elucidate the heterogeneity of agricultural emotional landscapes. In so doing, we illustrate complex and contradictory spatial, emotional and ethical relations between humans and non-humans. Farm animals may exist simultaneously as ‘friends’ and sources of food, leading to a blurring of socially constructed categories such as ‘livestock’ and ‘pet’ (Holloway, J. Rural Stud. 17 (2001) 293). Livestock as ‘economic machines’ for converting roughage to meat, milk and by-products (Briggs and Briggs, Modern Breeds of Livestock, fourth ed., Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc., New York, 1980) represents one strand of these relations; the sight of farmers crying and farm animals being blessed during the 2001 Cumbrian foot and mouth outbreak, yet another. As (Franklin, Anthropology Today 17 (3) (2001) 3) indicates, ‘the farmer weeping beside the blazing pyre of dead sheep is a complex portrait of a breach in the relationships between animals and humans’. By drawing on experiences of the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic, for farmers and the wider rural community in North Cumbria, we try to articulate the ambiguities of this breach.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Rural Studies
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 9812
Deposited By: Mrs Janet Harris
Deposited On: 16 Jul 2008 11:16
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 18:41
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/9812

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