“My Responsibility, My Food”

Meat, Slaughter and Self-sufficiency



self-sufficienct, small-scale farming, animal husbandry, meat, slaughter, human-animal relations, modernity, post-domesticity, affect


This article examines views on meat, slaughter and human-animal relations in the contemporary self-sufficiency trend. The point of departure of the analysis is ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with individuals striving towards becoming more self-sufficient in the region of Ostrobothnia, Finland. The focus is on the interviewees’ narration of their practices and experiences of animal husbandry, and more specifically on the role of affect and body in the killing of animals for human consumption. The material is analysed utilising cultural analysis inspired by phenomenology, and the findings are discussed from the perspective of post-domesticity. The analysis shows how the interviewees negotiate and justify their choices regarding meat, and why they prefer self-sufficiency farming and home slaughter to industrial agriculture and slaughter. This form of small-scale animal husbandry is characterised by affective relationships between bodies, which counteract the processes of post-domestic modernity that generate disconnectedness between animal and human, food and origin, producer and consumer.





How to Cite

Backa, A. (2020). “My Responsibility, My Food”: Meat, Slaughter and Self-sufficiency. Ethnologia Fennica, 47(2), 54–76. https://doi.org/10.23991/ef.v47i2.88801