Meat the law series: kick-off event with prof Randall S. Abate

The lecture will take place via zoom on 18 January 2021, 15:30-17 h. All information registration available here.

Meat the law is a seminar series organized by the Amsterdam Centre for Transformative private law and Sustainable Global Economic Law. Meat consumption and production have been at the centre of growing critical scrutiny over the past few years due to a number of concurring concerns – ethical, environmental and social for all. 

First, a growing concern with the ethical quandaries of mass farming has emerged – how will humanity, in a couple of centuries, look back at the conditions in which meatstock has been bred and kept for the past few decades?

Second, from an environmental perspective meat consumption seems to be one main driver of the unprecedented loss of biodiversity, uncontrolled deforestation and ultimately increase of CO2 levels that have increasingly alarmed scientists and, with uneven intensity, public opinions. 

Third, the pandemic has drawn attention to one aspect that has been hidden from the public eye – but was in fact well known to labour and industrial relations scholars and activists, namely the difficult working conditions and at times outright exploitation that characterises work in several junctions of the meat industry and in particular slaughterhouses. 

This specific problem, in fact, stands representative of a broader problem with economic relations in the food chain, which foster and compound all the three aspects above: economic pressure and incentives both drive intensive farming and make more sustainable, less cruel meat production almost utopian.

As private lawyers, ACT researchers want to investigate the role of law – and especially of rules regulating relations between private parties – in giving shape to unsustainable meat consumption and production and in nourishing alternatives to the current model. If you are interested in cooperating or presenting in the series, please reach out to Laura Burgers or Debadatta Bose.