Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Feeding the End of the World: Unhealthy Ecologies, Precarious Labor, and the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Meat Industry in Southern Brazil

Monday, November 14, 2022

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Leung Conference Room, 280 Brook Street

How does the way we have been eating feed the end of the world? To answer this question, anthropologist Jean Segata examines how agribusiness produces a scenario of chronic destruction that is highly exploitive and makes humans, animals, and environments sick. Based on research that analyzes the high number of contaminations by COVID-19 in slaughterhouses in Southern Brazil, in this presentation, Segata addresses topics like the precarious, racialized, and speciesist nature of this work and the intensive production of unhealthy ecologies that feed emerging pathogens. He argues that the toxic activity of agribusiness synthesizes central themes of the debate on health and food in the Anthropocene while reproducing, in new configurations, the historically devastating social, sanitary and environmental conditions that have affected Brazil since colonial times.

About the Presenter 
Professor Jean Segata
Graduate Program in Social Anthropology
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul