Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience
Farmed animal sanctuaries rescue, rehabilitate, and care for animals bred for use in agriculture. Because of the structure of veterinary training, regulations on species considered agricultural, and for other reasons, rescued animals such as chickens fall out of spaces of veterinary care and medical knowledge production. Given these knowledge and research gaps, this paper investigates how sanctuaries develop medical knowledge about chickens, focusing on hens bred for egg production. I develop the concept of “witnessing” as it has been used in science studies, feminist theory, and animal activism, arguing that sanctuary science and medicine can be understood as queer witnessing. Then, I discuss how sanctuaries put queer witnessing into practice, through aspirational archiving, transposition, and reorienting health. Though queer witnessing has its limits and problems, it offers a way of doing activist science, at sanctuaries and beyond.
activist science, animal sanctuaries, chickens, feminist science, queer ecology, witnessing
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© Heather Rosenfeld, 2021
Rosenfeld, Heather, "Witnessing Pandora: Doing “Undone Science” at Chicken Sanctuaries" (2021). Environmental Science and Policy: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.