Care, toxics and being prey: I want to be good food for others

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Feminist Studies, 2020
Issue Date:
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In grappling for ways to respond to existence within permanently polluted worlds, this article asks: what does it mean to be good food for others? Where do all the chemicals and heavy metals go? What are the distributed effects? How might we hack legacies of toxic inheritance? What alternative practices and values are needed? It explores the ways in which artists complicate death/food relations and nourishment through their express acknowledgement of chemically burdened bodies. In doing so, this article draws on and extends Val Plumwood’s analytic of viewing humans as ‘being prey’ in the context of a feminist ethics of care and what Maria Puig de la Bellacasa refers to as ‘more caring affective ecologies.’ Ultimately, it suggests that speculating on becoming prey and wanting to be good food for others—whether this is for a crocodile, fish, mushrooms or microbes in the soil—can propose new ways of configuring our relationships with human and more-than-human others in terms of toxicity and care.
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