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'Letting them go' - agricultural retirement and human-livestock relations

By M. Riley

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Through a focus on agricultural retirement, this paper extends on the recent work considering human-livestock relations. Drawing on research conducted in Hampshire and West Sussex (UK), the paper utilises farmers' narratives of farm work and retirement to explore the themes of [dis]connection between farmers and their dairy cattle. The paper attempts to add complexity and nuance to assumptions about the nature and extent of animal objectification with commercial dairy farming, and consider the intricate moral geographies [re]created within the individual farm. The discursive and material 'placings' of animals are considered alongside an exploration of how the intricate temporality and spatiality of these are disturbed and disrupted by the move to retirement. In discussing these relations the paper examines how animals are central to the everyday lives and identities of farmers and how separation from them alters farmers' attachment to particular practices, places and social networks.

Date 2011
Publication Title Geoforum
Volume 42
Issue 1
Pages 16-27
ISBN/ISSN 0016-7185
DOI 10.1016/j.geoforum.2010.08.004
Author Address Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth, Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth PO13HE, UK.mark.riley@port.ac.uk
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Agriculture
  2. British Isles
  3. Cattle
  4. Commonwealth of Nations
  5. Dairy animals
  6. Developed countries
  7. Employees
  8. Europe
  9. Great Britain
  10. Hampshire
  11. Human ecology
  12. Livestock
  13. Mammals
  14. networking
  15. OECD countries
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Primates
  18. retirement
  19. Ruminants
  20. Social psychology and social anthropology
  21. United Kingdom
  1. peer-reviewed