Animal Agendas: Conflict over Productive Animals in Twentieth-Century Australian Cities

In: Society & Animals
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  • 1 1The University of Western Australia, Australia

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Abstract

Over the course of the twentieth century, the number of productive nonhuman animals (livestock and poultry) in Australian cities declined dramatically. This decline resulted—at least in part—from an imaginative geography, in which productive animals were deemed inappropriate occupants of urban spaces. A class-based prioritization of amenity, privacy, order, and the protection of real property values—as well as a gender order within which animal-keeping was not recognized as a legitimate economic activity for women—shaped this imaginative geography of animals that found its most critical expression in local government regulations. However, there were different imaginative geographies among women and men—mostly those from the working class—whose emotional and economic relationships with productive animals led them to advocate for those animals as legitimate and desirable urban inhabitants.

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