Animal Studies Journal


: This paper offers several stories in response to philosopher Vinciane Despret and sociologist Jocelyne Porcher’s considerations on ‘dairy’ cows and work. These include stories from the cows in the herd that I have lived alongside for 30 years, a kind of auto-ethnographic approach; and stories and a few facts about the dairy industry in Australia. These accounts are informed by another story, told by the feminist philosopher and writer Hélène Cixous. Three works by artist Yvette Watt tell more stories about the lives and deaths of cows. One of my underlying interests is in the possibilities of narrative to disturb and disclose cultural secrets of systemic violence, secrets that are ‘born in the desire of the one who proposes a narrative of secrecy’ (Hart 1994).