Killing with care? The potentials at the sustainability/masculinity nexus in an ‘alternative’ Danish slaughterhouse

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In this paper we investigate the connection between forms of sustainability and masculinity through a study of everyday life in a Danish alternative slaughterhouse. In contrast to the predominant form of slaughterhouses today in Western contexts, the ‘alternative’ slaughterhouse is characterized as non-industrial in scale and articulating some form of a sustainability orientation. Acknowledging the variability of the term, we firstly explore how ‘sustainability’ is understood and practiced in this place. We then illuminate the situated manifestations of masculinities, which appear predominantly- though not exclusively- hegemonic in nature. We next reflect on how the situated and particular sustainability of this site come to bear on a workplace long characterized as a masculinized site of, e.g., violence and repression, showing how the sustainability of the alternative slaughterhouse has potential to nourish alternative masculinities. We finally call for more attention at this nexus of sustainability and masculinities studies, to examine how the broad sustainability turn in food systems needs to be further examined in relation to what masculinities it perpetuates, as well as how a focus on masculinities may enhance our understanding of varying forms of sustainability, especially their potential for ecologically and socially just food systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgriculture and Human Values
Number of pages16
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2024

ID: 385887249