The commodification of animals

The Conquest of Nature And What We’ve Lost
By Lewis H. Lapham

The modern industrial society emerging into the twentieth century transformed animals into products and commodities, swept up in the tide of economic and scientific progress otherwise known as the conquest of nature. Animals acquired the identities issued to them by man, became labels marketed by a frozen-food or meat-packing company, retaining only those portions of their value that fit the formula of research tool or cultural symbol –circus or zoo exhibit, corporate logo or Hollywood cartoon, active ingredient in farm-fresh salmon or genetically modified beef.

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