Departmental Research Seminar: Anna Mazanik: “Animal Bodies for the Human Good? Public Slaughterhouses and the Reform of Meat Production in Late-Imperial Moscow”
Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm
In the nineteenth century, many European cities saw a remarkable transformation in how meat was produced and supplied. The growth of urban population pressed the traditional art of butchering to increase in scale and speed, while the developing medical sciences required stricter control over the slaughter. The modern sensibilities and the new hygiene regimes demanded that death, blood, and physical violence were removed from the "civil" city. The slaughtering facilities were exiled to the outskirts, enclosed, excluded from everyday life, and made invisible, so as to hide the link between the nutritious meat and the act of killing that it implied.
Dealing with the case of the Moscow abattoir (1886-1888), the lecture will discuss the meaning of the reform of meat production, the motivations behind it, its role in the late-imperial public health campaign, and the impact that this transition to the mass-scale technological and hygienized slaughter had on the human-animal and interhuman relations in the city.