This chapter considers ethics and the non-human in the empirical context of animal production and meat processing. There exists a long-standing interest within nonrepresentational theory in non-human agency (Thrift 199), influenced at its outset by among others the work of sociologist of science and technology, Bruno Latour. As Thrift writes on Latour’s work:
This category of ‘things’ not only refers to machines, but equally to animals like elephants (Whatmore and Thorne 1998), vegetables (Roe 2006) and prions (Hinchliffe 2001), all of which can be understood as hybrid entities – a coproduction of the ‘natural’ and the ‘social’. Each of these authors has explored how practices, whether for conserving animals, or eating food, or responding to metabolic risk in the food industry, have had to work with the specific capacities of non-human materialities. The empirical narrative at the centre of this chapter develops this work on non-human agency and ethical engagement by arguing we should be sensitive to different kinds of (non-human) processes of matter that generate the materialities we know and sense.