Animals, Work, and the Promise of Interspecies Solidarity by Kendra Coulter

By Kendra Coulter

Interweaving human-animal reviews, hard work theories and examine, and feminist political financial system, Coulter develops a distinct research of the accomplishments, complexities, difficulties, and probabilities of multispecies and interspecies labor.

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Clinton R. Sanders (2010) found that an affinity for animals provides the impetus, but that a connection to someone in the field is important for gaining a genuine employment opportunity. Emotional motivation and an interest in interspecies work can also shape specific career trajectories within larger occupational groups. In police forces, mounted and canine units are widely seen as coveted postings, accessible only to a minority of officers who meet the qualifications and have sufficient years of training and experience.

These examples are important to note, and workers’ feelings vary depending on a range of factors, including the type of work they do. That said, the research makes clear that many and potentially most people who take up interspecies work do so because they have positive feelings toward animals. Without question, emotions and emotional work are central to much interspecies labor and manifest in different ways. In many interspecies workplaces, the joy of working with animals inspired people’s workplace direction, and such feelings outweigh the sorrow of animals ultimately being sold or killed.

In some cases, such as with Tyson Foods in the United States, the same company may own all or many stages of the food production process. Because of corporate consolidation and the strategic purchasing of smaller facilities and companies, a handful of agricultural corporations own much of the meat production and processing system, where work with animals intended to be food occurs. Labor involving animals intended to be food is not monolithic; there are different ways that the work is organized, and somewhat diverse visions about the process and about animals.

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