Article Title

Pets or Meat


Mary Anne Case


I am interested in exploring questions of whether and when commingling commodification with affection is more problematic than naked commodification. My title comes from the scene in the Michael Moore film Roger and Me depicting the marketing of rabbits. The dynamic I am interested in is common, not only in human relations with other animals, from lab and farm animals to pets, but also in pink collar work. The secretary given flowers instead of a bonus, the housekeeper whose employers say of her, "she's one of the family"—each of these cases is troubling, although it is not clear that more naked commodification of personal services would be preferable. What about instances when affection is explicitly what we're buying? Laws against prostitution say money cannot (legally) buy some forms of love. But why don't we think of nannies as mistresses and baby sitters as hookers.

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