My Life as a Pig: MRSA and the Control of Life in Contemporary Pig Production

  • Lars Fynbo


This chapter studies the lives of pigs in contemporary pig farms. From an actor–network perspective, the chapter focuses on antibiotics and other 'actants' that farmers use to control the lives of the pigs through different stages of the pigs lives. Within contemporary farming, a pig's life cycle consists of three different phases. In each of the three phases, farmers control the growth of the pigs by applying different techniques and, sometimes, by distributing different types of antibiotics. The farmers hereby controls the lives of the pigs immensely from the pigs are born and until the pigs, within less than a year, are transported to a slaughter house. Antibiotics, in itself a living organism with a somewhat paradoxical history, is a central actant in each of the three phases. Based on a large qualitative data material, mostly generated from the inside of Danish pig farms, the study, thus, analyses the pigs’ lives as controlled mainly by the farmers’ distribution of antimicrobial life.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VIVE – The Danish Center for Social Science ResearchCopenhagenDenmark

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