Communist Pigs

Communist Pigs An Animal History of East Germany's Rise and Fall - Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books

Hardback (30 Jun 2020) | English

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Synopsis

The pig played a fundamental role in the German Democratic Republic's attempts to create and sustain a modern, industrial food system built on communist principles. By the mid-1980s, East Germany produced more pork per capita than West Germany and the UK, while also suffering myriad unintended consequences of this centrally planned practice: manure pollution, animal disease, and rolling food shortages.

The pig is an incredibly adaptive animal, and historian Thomas Fleischman uncovers three types of pig that played roles in this history: the industrial pig, remade to suit the conditions of factory farming; the wild boar, whose overpopulation was a side effect of agricultural development rather than a conservation success story; and the garden pig, reflective of the regime's growing acceptance of private, small-scale farming within the planned economy.

Fleischman chronicles East Germany's journey from family farms to factory farms, explaining how communist principles shaped the adoption of industrial agriculture practices. More broadly, Fleischman argues that agriculture under communism came to reflect standard practices of capitalist agriculture, and that the pork industry provides a clear illustration of this convergence. His analysis sheds light on the causes of the country's environmental and political collapse in 1989 and offers a warning about the high cost of cheap food in the present and future.

About the Publisher

University of Washington Press

University of Washington Press

The Press traces its origins to 1915, when Edmond Meany's Governors of Washington, Territorial and State was issued. The first book to bear the University of Washington Press imprint, an edition of The Poems of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey edited by Frederick M. Padelford, appeared in 1920. Since that time the Press has published approximately 4,400 books, of which about 1,400 are currently in print. Today we publish about seventy new titles each year. From the beginning the Press has reflected the University's major academic strengths. Building on those strengths, combined with a vigorous creativity in developing regional partners, the University of Washington Press has achieved recognition as the leading publisher of scholarly books and distinguished works of regional nonfiction in the Pacific Northwest.

Book information

ISBN: 9780295747309
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Imprint: University of Washington Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 338.176400943109045
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: cm.
Weight: 552g
Height: 163mm
Width: 236mm
Spine width: 26mm