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“Hitched Horse, Milked Cow, Killed Pig”: Pragmatic Stewardship and the Paradox of Human/Animal Relationships in Southern Ontario, 1900-1920

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Title: “Hitched Horse, Milked Cow, Killed Pig”: Pragmatic Stewardship and the Paradox of Human/Animal Relationships in Southern Ontario, 1900-1920
Author: Anderson, Katharine
Department: Department of History
Program: History
Advisor: Nance, Susan
Abstract: This thesis is an investigation of the relationship between Southern Ontario farmers and three different animal species raised on early twentieth century mixed family farms. Between 1900 and 1920, many non-rural Ontarians romanticized rural communities as harmonious and pastoral; a place where farmers had sentimental relationships with their animals. At the same time, Southern Ontario experienced an increase in government initiatives by the Canadian Department of Agriculture, particularly during the First World War. These efforts encouraged farmers to regard their animals as machines that should be manipulated for maximum efficiency and output, in order to support the war and for Canada’s food industry to become competitive on international markets. Southern Ontario farmers existed in between these two paradoxical expectations of early twentieth century modernity. They adopted a pragmatic stewardship over their livestock that was neither overly sentimental nor altogether removed from regarding their animals as living beings with agency
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/8069
Date: 2014-05-06


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