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Where the Cows Come Home: Mysore's urban cattle and the co-production of labour
Kelsi Nagy  1@  
1 : School of Geography and the Environment - Oxford University  (SoGE)  -  Website
University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QY, UK. -  Royaume-Uni

Presentation :

Many cattle seen wandering the streets of India's busy cities are kept as dairy animals, who return to their cowsheds to be fed, milked, and tended to at the end of the day. Based on my PhD fieldwork in Mysore, Karnataka, where I conducted a multispecies ethnography (Kirskey & Helmreich, 2010) on an urban dairy cow, this paper examines the co-production (Porcher & Schmitt, 2012) of labour by urban cattle, who display cooperative behaviors in the trans-action (Haraway, 2008) of exchanging milk for care. The city also emerged as a “safe” landscape for cows to roam autonomously, unlike in nearby villages where more cattle were minded by herders. This kind of urban pastoralism was possible largely because of cow's amenable nature and made her a preferred dairy animal to the willful buffalo, a more lucrative dairy animal. 

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