Re-making Domestic Natures. Multispecies Life and Care at the Sanctuary

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


What images of multispecies life might emerge from the practices of sanctuary-caregiving in a time of anthropogenic extinction and environmental degradation?
In this presentation, I will delve into the embodied, situated, and multispecies care practices unfolding within the everyday context of farmed animal sanctuaries.
When engaging with the daily practices of sanctuary caregiving, it is difficult to ignore how this work is done at a particular time significantly marked by the devastating consequences of humanity’s overshoot at a global scale. As much critical thinking and scholarship go into how “we” as humans can come to terms with “our” destructive patterns posing a fundamental threat to all life on earth, farmed animal sanctuaries center those animals whose existence is intimately shaped by the presence of humans: the animals reduced to consumable objects completely separated from the discourse of ‘nature.’ In doing so, sanctuary caregivers embark on the deep-rooted anthropocentrism that continues to prevail in much ecological thinking and informing what type of protection is granted to different groups of animals.
Based on fieldwork performed at multiple farmed animal sanctuaries in rural Denmark, this presentation highlights sanctuary-caregiving as a disruptive site for rethinking ethics and politics beyond the binary categories of nature and culture; wild and domestic. Examining the experiences of creating a place for multispecies flourishing, I discuss how caring for formerly farmed animals highlights a largely neglected site for more-than-human flourishing in a time of anthropogenic problems: that of the ‘domestic natures’ embedded within agricultural and rural landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event7th Biennial European Conference for Critical Animal Studies: Appraising Critical Animal Studies -
Duration: 2021 Jun 242021 Jun 25


Conference7th Biennial European Conference for Critical Animal Studies

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Law and Society


  • Domestic Natures
  • Multispecies Life
  • Care
  • Nature-Culture
  • Farmed Animal Sanctuaries
  • Anthropogenic problems


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