Mediating a Global Capitalist, Speciesist Moral Vacuum: How Two Escaped Pigs disrupted Dyson Appliances’ State of Nature

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Abstract

In 1998, two Tamworth Ginger pigs escaped on-route to slaughter, remaining fugitive for over a week on Dyson Appliances’ land in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England, the United Kingdom. Dyson factory workers helped search for them, and media interest was global. National UK newspaper The Daily Mail bought the animals, preventing their slaughter. Whilst two pigs dubbed “Butch” and “Sundance” were publicly “saved,” slaughter continued in private, justified as “natural.” Dyson Appliance’s subsequent decision to sack all 800 Malmesbury vacuum-cleaner production staff was likewise reported as an inevitable, natural consequence of the market. The Press Gazette voted The Daily Mail’s coverage of the Tamworth two the greatest British media scoop of all time. Adopting a Critical Animal Media Studies lens, we explore the contradictions and connections between moral identification in UK media framing of Malmesbury’s animal escape story, moral invisibility of animal-slaughter in general, and reporting of the factory’s closure as a global capitalist state of nature’s “inevitable” and “natural” consequence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for Critical Animal Studies
Volume18
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Jan 2021

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