Introduction: animal subjectivity and robot milking technologies There has been a consistent, and generally accepted, call within the burgeoning ‘animal geographies’ literature that nonhuman animals should be accorded a status as subjects, in opposition to tendencies to represent them in objectifying ways which suggest that animals are simply ‘there’ (Emel and Wolch, 1998; Emel et al, 2002). Yet, especially in relation to farming, the question of what such a subjectivity might be is in most instances underexamined. Instead, most writers have focused on the human dimension of human ^ animal relationships (in exploring, for example, animals’ symbolic and economic value for people, or the human experience of particular farming situations) and/or have tended to essentialise the subjectivity of farmed animals in ways which negate the potential for them to become, to be coconstituted as they are entrained within various and changing sets of socioeconomic, ecological, spatial, and technological relationships. Other authors have attempted to do this in relation to ‘wild’, ‘companion’, and ‘working’ animals, for example (see Cox and Ashford, 1998; Haraway, 2003; Hinchliffe et al, 2005; Palmer, 2001; Whatmore, 2002; Whatmore and Thorne, 1998; 2000). Clearly, trying to make sense of animal subjectivity is problematic, and might be approached from a number of theoretical and empirical directions [see, for example, Pile and Thrift (1995) and Pratt (2000) for reviews of approaches to human subjectivity]. However, in this paper, I want to account for the emergence of particular forms of animal subjectivity by focusing on one particular take on how subjectivity is produced in and through the technologies and spaces involved in the ways specific farmed animals are ‘kept’. I use as an example the changing technologies of dairy farming. Subjecting cows to robots: farming technologies and the making of animal subjects Lewis Holloway Department of Geography, University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Hull HU6 7RX, England; e-mail: [email protected] Received 6 January 2006; in revised form 5 June 2006; published online 20 July 2007 Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2007, volume 25, pages 1041 ^ 1060 Abstract. Recent representations of human ^ animal relationships in farming have tended to focus on human experience, and to essentialise animal subjectivity in granting them a centred subjectivity akin to that assumed to be possessed by humans. Instead, this paper develops an understanding of the coproduction of domestic livestock animal subjectivities and the technologies used in farming domes- tic livestock animals, based on an analysis of texts produced by agricultural scientists, farmers, and equipment manufacturers relating to the effects of introducing new robotic milking technologies into dairy farming. Drawing particularly on Foucault’s conceptions of subjectivity and biopower, I explore the emergence of particular forms of bovine subjectivity associated with robotic milking. Through an analysis of a wide range of secondary sources, the paper shows that, although robotic technologies have been presented as offering cows ‘freedom’, better welfare, and a more ‘natural’ experience, other relations of domination come into effect in association with such technologies and their spatialities. These are expressed through the manipulation of animal bodies and behaviours, in expectations that cows move and act in particular ways, and through normalisation and individualisation processes. I argue that nonhuman animal subjectivities in agriculture are thus heterogeneous, fluid, and con- tingent on specific sets of relationships between animals, humans, and technologies and on specific agricultural microgeographies. The paper ends by acknowledging that these relationships need further empirical exploration in terms of both attempts to understand animals’ changed experiences and ways of being, and their ethical implications in particular situations. DOI:10.1068/d77j

Bovine Subjectivity

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Page 1: Bovine Subjectivity

Introduction: animal subjectivity and robot milking technologiesThere has been a consistent, and generally accepted, call within the burgeoning `animalgeographies' literature that nonhuman animals should be accorded a status as subjects,in opposition to tendencies to represent them in objectifying ways which suggest thatanimals are simply `there' (Emel and Wolch, 1998; Emel et al, 2002). Yet, especially inrelation to farming, the question of what such a subjectivity might be is in mostinstances underexamined. Instead, most writers have focused on the human dimensionof human ^ animal relationships (in exploring, for example, animals' symbolic andeconomic value for people, or the human experience of particular farming situations)and/or have tended to essentialise the subjectivity of farmed animals in ways which negatethe potential for them to become, to be coconstituted as they are entrained within variousand changing sets of socioeconomic, ecological, spatial, and technological relationships.Other authors have attempted to do this in relation to `wild', companion', and `working'animals, for example (see Cox and Ashford, 1998; Haraway, 2003; Hinchliffe et al,2005; Palmer, 2001; Whatmore, 2002; Whatmore and Thorne, 1998; 2000). Clearly,trying to make sense of animal subjectivity is problematic, and might be approachedfrom a number of theoretical and empirical directions [see, for example, Pile and Thrift(1995) and Pratt (2000) for reviews of approaches to human subjectivity]. However,in this paper, I want to account for the emergence of particular forms of animalsubjectivity by focusing on one particular take on how subjectivity is produced inand through the technologies and spaces involved in the ways specific farmed animalsare `kept'. I use as an example the changing technologies of dairy farming.

Subjecting cows to robots: farming technologies and the makingof animal subjects

Lewis HollowayDepartment of Geography, University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Hull HU6 7RX, England;e-mail: [email protected] 6 January 2006; in revised form 5 June 2006; published online 20 July 2007

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2007, volume 25, pages 1041 ^ 1060

Abstract. Recent representations of human ^ animal relationships in farming have tended to focus onhuman experience, and to essentialise animal subjectivity in granting them a centred subjectivity akinto that assumed to be possessed by humans. Instead, this paper develops an understanding of thecoproduction of domestic livestock animal subjectivities and the technologies used in farming domes-tic livestock animals, based on an analysis of texts produced by agricultural scientists, farmers, andequipment manufacturers relating to the effects of introducing new robotic milking technologies intodairy farming. Drawing particularly on Foucault's conceptions of subjectivity and biopower, I explorethe emergence of particular forms of bovine subjectivity associated with robotic milking. Through ananalysis of a wide range of secondary sources, the paper shows that, although robotic technologieshave been presented as offering cows `freedom', better welfare, and a more `natural' experience, otherrelations of domination come into effect in association with such technologies and their spatialities.These are expressed through the manipulation of animal bodies and behaviours, in expectationsthat cows move and act in particular ways, and through normalisation and individualisation processes.I argue that nonhuman animal subjectivities in agriculture are thus heterogeneous, fluid, and con-tingent on specific sets of relationships between animals, humans, and technologies and on specificagricultural microgeographies. The paper ends by acknowledging that these relationships need furtherempirical exploration in terms of both attempts to understand animals' changed experiences and waysof being, and their ethical implications in particular situations.


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The paper thus explores some of the complexities of what a domestic livestockanimal is in contemporary farming systems, especially those involving the engagementof such animals, and their human associates, with robotic and information technol-ogies. As Thrift (2005, page 201) argues, ` just as the materiality of technology hasbecome an insistent force in the world of animals, so the materiality of animalshas become an insistent force in the world of technology.'' In part, then, the paperfocuses on the material animal ^ technology relations evident in a particular farmingsystem, illustrating how, in material terms, dairy cows shape technology and, inturn, what technology can do to dairy cows. In this sense, the paper is partly influ-enced by science and technology studies accounts of the effects of hybrid relationshipsbetween `living' and `nonliving'/technological actors and actants [see, for example Luke(1997) and Michael (2000) and for a review of the coconstitution of users and technol-ogies, see Oudshoorn and Pinch (2003)]. However, I also want to suggest that theserelationships effect emergent, and specific, bovine subjectivities. Going beyond animalmateriality in this way, the paper considers the constitution of animal subjectivitiesin relation to technologies, spatial arrangements, and agricultural systems.(1)

In particular, I am interested in the ways in which particular bovine subjectivitiesare produced in and through the specific set of technospatial configurations associatedwith robotic milking technologies, or Automatic Milking Systems (AMS). These tech-nologies milk cows automatically, without the immediate physical presence of humans,contrasting with the proximity of human ^ animal relationships associated with con-ventional milking parlours. Such technologies have implications for the design and useof farm spaces and for the temporalities of dairy farming, as well as for dairy farmhuman ^ animal relationships and for what cows are expected to do and be. As I argue,it is these implications which afford a particular take on the animal subjectivitiesassociated with very specific contexts.

I begin by reviewing how farmed animals have been represented in differentliteratures, before exploring some concepts inspired by Foucault's thinking on sub-jectivity and power which lead to one possible way of thinking through animalsubjectivity. After this discussion, I return to cows and robotic milking, and beginby outlining the recent emergence of robotic technologies for milking cowsand suggesting some of the immediate implications of these technologies for under-standing animals and animal ^ human relationships. I then conduct an analysis ofsecondary sources (including the proceedings of scientific conferences on roboticmilking, discussion of AMS in the farming press, and the promotional literatureof AMS manufacturers) to explore the constitution of bovine subjectivity in thisparticular type of farming situation. This detailed textual analysis of scientificand agricultural sources provides an important perspective on the ways in which,through particular sets of human ^ animal ^ technology relationships, nonhumananimal subjectivities are imagined, represented, and begin to be constituted.However, it is a partial perspective, oriented towards a particular `agriculturalist'set of human representations of animals and technologies. My conclusions are thusin part concerned with identifying an empirical research agenda which would worktowards exploring other perspectivesöin particular, those of animals themselves andthose concerned with the situated ethics of particular human ^ animal ^ technologyrelationships.

(1) While this paper emphasises what might be referred to as `high-tech' livestock farming, it shouldbe pointed out that other `low-tech' farming technologies have had similar implications for animalsubjectivities, as Netz's (2004) study of barbed wire indicates.

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Representing farmed animalsRepresentations of the presence of farmed animals in recent accounts of the discoursesand practices of agriculture are increasingly numerous and protean. There are, too, richhistorical accounts of the (literal and metaphorical) social construction of animals(eg Ritvo, 1987; Thomas, 1983). Summarising some of the approaches which havebeen taken more recently, I here suggest three broad ways in which animals figure inthis work.

First, there is an important body of work which explores the objectification ofanimals in a contemporary `animal ^ industrial complex' (Noske, 1997), focusing onthe rendering of animals as `things' associated with a rationalised, modernised, indus-trialised food supply system (see, for example, Emel and Wolch, 1998; Franklin, 1999;Wolch and Emel, 1995). Specific case studies explore this process in detail. For example,Page (1997), Stibbe (2003), and Ufkes (1998) describe how pigs have been literallyrestructured during efforts to produce lean bodies, and are discursively objectifiedwithin agriculture; Boyd and Watts (1997) and Watts (2000) represent the bodies ofchickens in industrialised poultry production systems as sites for the accumulationof capital; Stassart and Whatmore (2003) illustrate the enrolment of cattle into specificmarketing structures in ways which have effects on animal bodies; Grasseni (2005)explores the combinations of knowledges which go into dairy cattle breeding; Holloway(2005) points to the applications of `new' genetic knowledges to beef cattle breedingin efforts to produce more marketable animal bodies; and many authors explore howanimals figure in the controversies and politics surrounding the unintended conse-quences of `industrial' agriculture (eg Donaldson et al, 2002; Hinchliffe, 2001; Law,2004; Woods, 1998). In this first type of account, then, animals figure mainly asproductive units, and although there may be a focus on the specific forms of human ^animal relationship evident in the particular contexts, these are seemingly relationshipswith nonhuman animal objects.

A second way in which farmed animals are represented focuses, in different ways,on their symbolic value to people. Examples include the work by Evans and Yarwood(1995) and Yarwood and Evans (1998) on `rare breeds' of livestock and on the `tradi-tional' breeds associated with particular places, describing how they can be used tosignify locality, heritage, and quality in, for example, tourism or food marketing;Quinn's (1993) and Smith's (1983) papers focusing on the symbolic value attached to`pedigree' cattle in late-18th-century Britain and late-20th-century USA, respectively(see also Walton, 1984; 1986; 1999); and Anderson's (2003) case study of the colonialsignificance of cattle breeding and showing in Australia. In this literature, then,animals are again broadly objectified, but in these cases they are things to whichsymbolic significance is attached instead of, or as well as, being simply productiveunits.

A third mode of representing farmed animals concentrates on the seemingly close'intersubjective human ^ animal relationships which are apparent in specific agriculturalcircumstances. In this mode, farmed animals are understood to be something more thaneither commodified things or the bearers of symbolic value. Nevertheless, work con-ducted on specific human ^ animal relationships here has tended to be anthropocentric,centring on the human experience of animals and on human practices even if theyattribute or imply an animal subjectivity. Gray (1998), for instance, illustrates howparticular knowledge and behaviour patterns exhibited by sheep are central to theorganisation of hill sheep farming, suggesting the significance of these animalsin embodying consubstantial' relationships between people and farm holding.Holloway (2001) and Wilkie (2005), on the other hand, focus on the `close' relation-ships with animals experienced by different types of farmer, describing also how they

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enter into ethically problematic, seemingly intersubjective relationships with suchanimals. Lastly, Convery et al's (2002; 2005) study of farmers' sense of bereavementdue to the slaughter of livestock in measures taken to contain foot and mouth diseasein the UK suggests that deeply felt and complex connections exist between manyfarmers and their livestock. While valuable in making sense of the human experienceof human ^ animal relationships, these accounts are nevertheless constrained in theirapproach to animal subjectivity, being more to do with defining the subjectivity andemotional experience of the humans in their social and ethical relationships withanimals than with problematising the subjectivity of the animals themselves.

This constraint on understandings of animal subjectivity is also evident in therecent concern with animal welfare in farming (eg Buller and Morris, 2003). Respond-ing to wider debates in moral philosophy, society has increasingly regarded farmedanimals as having a status as morally considerable subjects as they are attributed withcharacteristics such as sentience or sapience, meaning that they can, for example,experience pain, stress, and boredom and can be attributed with rights which, forsome, give them a moral status equivalent to humans (see, for example, Midgley,1983; Pluhar, 1995; Regan and Singer, 1976; see also the discussion in Emel and Wolch,1998; Holloway, 2001; Philo and Wilbert, 2000). At issue here are two things. First,many studies of farming practices assess welfare through the behaviour of the animals,reducing their subjectivity to, first, their responses to the farming environment theyare in, and, second, a series of measurements which, in the last analysis, are mainlyrelated to the animals' agricultural productivity, assuming that, for instance, if animalscontinue to grow or reproduce then welfare standards must be acceptable (see, forexample, Fraser, 2003; Webster, 2003). Second, representations of animals as morallyconsiderable, or as the bearers of `rights', risk attributing a particular, fixed subjectivityto animals. That is, they essentialise what it is to be a subjectöaccepting a centredsubjective being rather than a continual process of becoming subject, and a hetero-geneity of becoming which produces different subjectivities. Animal welfare discourse,while undoubtedly important in thinking about the ethics of human ^ animal relationsin agriculture and in changing animal farming practices, is thus predicated on aninherent, closed subjectivity, notwithstanding a history of domestication which makesan understanding of these animals' existence outside of variable human ^ nonhumanrelationships impossible (Anderson, 1997).

What is so far lacking in these accounts is a more detailed consideration of whatfarmed animal subjectivity might mean in particular contexts. This lack is mirrored toa great degree in accounts of other kinds of nonhuman animal, although argumentsthat `wild' or companion' animals might `become' different in very different situationshave been explored by some [eg Whatmore and Thorne (1998; 2000), and Whatmore(2002) on various `wild' species including leopards and elephants, and Haraway (2003),and Palmer (2001), on dogs and cats, respectively]. In this context, Emel et al (2002),reviewing `progress' in `animal geographies', suggest that the process of rethinkinghuman subjectivity which is, they argue, evident in the social sciences more widely,should be extended to encompass reconceptualisations of animal subjectivity. Recon-ceptualisations of human subjectivity have increasingly tended to be influencedby poststructuralist and posthumanist perspectives which posit a decentring of sub-jectivity, arguing that, instead of the existence of centred subjects being accepted,subjectivities should be considered in a nonessentialist, emergent manner as frag-mented, distributed, and becoming (eg Braun, 2004; Castree and Nash, 2006). Thisperspective on decentring human subjects is taken up by Emel and Wolch (1998), whoargue that a parallel decentring of animal subjects permits a focus on the processeswhich produce nonhuman subjectivities. The posthumanist discourse which thus

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works at decentring human subjectivity may, in this sense, become relevant toconceptualisations of nonhuman subjectivity. Murdoch's (2004) argument that, ` wherehumanism arrogantly places the human and human rationality at the centre of alldeliberations, posthumanism disaggregates, distributes, and dislodges the human sub-ject. As Simon puts it, the subject `becomes local, fluid, contingent' (it is situated withincomplex matrices of human and nonhuman relationships'' (pages 1356 ^ 1357, citingSimon, 2003, page 4), would seem to encourage a case to be made for considerations ofnonhuman subjectivity alongside the nonessentialist human subjectivities which aresuggested.

This approach contrasts to an extent with those which have placed emphasis onessences understood as inherent in animals and which seemingly give them a species-specific and seemingly transhistorical subjectivity [see, for example, Jones (2003) andRisan (2005) in relation to farmed animals]. Risan (2005), for instance, reports ondetailed observational research with dairy cows. He is critical of approaches such asactor network theory which are agnostic in relation to the existence of distinctivedifferences between `social' and `natural' entities, and argues from the perspective thatthere are inherent, `natural' qualities of animal bodies to suggest that investigationsinto, for example, technologies and animals must in essence be very different. Thus, forexample, a cow is defined as a `natural being' (page 787), which means that it must betreated differently to a computer, a cultural artefact' (page 787). Yet, this distinction isproblematic. The cow cannot be seen simply as `natural', even if we acknowledge thather body, behaviour, and subjective experience are `bovine' in a way that retains some-thing of a genealogical lineage that has become what we refer to as domestic cows.The cow, first, emerges from histories of human intervention (for example, selectivebreeding practices), and, second, exists in relation to the different and specific materialand social relationships cows are caught up in (ie different types of farming practice).In this sense, the cow is a hybrid of the `natural' and the `social' (see Whatmore, 2000;2002).

For Jones and Risan, the `levelling' or `symmetrical' strategies of writers such asCallon (1986) act to negate the evident and real differences between entities and whatthey can doötheir `affordances' or capacities'. However, such strategies do not dis-allow the recognition of the specific qualities which come to be possessed by entities.The `symmetry' referred to relates more to nonacceptance of a priori categories thanto simply treating everything as if it were exactly the same. It does not mean thatwe should not consider the specific human ^ nonhuman encounters involved in anyparticular relationship, or that the ethics of such encounters and relations cannot bediscussed, but it is in this sense that the agency, subjectivity, and even bodily capacitiesof an animal (for example) can be considered as the effects of sets of relationshipswhich have a history, rather than as essences simply `brought into' the establishmentof a relationship.

These emergent differences are clearly important and have effects. For example,in designing milking equipment for cows, the size and conformation of their bodies,along with their expected behaviours, need to be accounted for, and milking equip-ment designed for cows will be different to that designed for other dairy animals suchas goats. But, those bodily and behavioural characteristics are not fixed: they havevaried in space and time (for example, as breeders have selected cows of a particularsize). The rest of the paper, then, following Braun's (2004, page 1354) comment that,for posthumanists, ``the human has no essence, and never did'', draws on Foucault'swriting on subjectivity to construct a nonessentialist, `postbovine' understanding ofcattle subjectivities which suggests that there is no essential bovine nature, but thatinstead contingent and fluid bovine subjectivities emerge in particular situations.

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Power, space, and subjectivityFoucault's (1982) argument that his apparent focus on issues of power masked a realemphasis on issues of subjectivity suggested that it was possible to understand howsubjects are `made' through three modalities which are actually processes of objectifica-tion. In this sense, the individual becomes something which is subject to relations ofpower, rather than something which simply possesses an inherent subjectivity. Foucaultargued, then, that subjects emerge as a result of the techniques of power which: first,attempt to normalise, in accordance with scientific and other expert knowledges, whatis expected of subjects; then, second, focus on monitoring the extent to which individ-uals adhere to or depart from what is `normal'; and, third, instil a continual, reflexiveself-discipline acting to enforce `normality'. As Emel and Wolch, (1998, page 18) thuscomment, ` Foucault, in particular, denied the transcendent or universal subject,arguing that the subject is configured and reconfigured in the conjunction of discursiveand non-discursive practices.'' Foucault (eg 1975; 1979; 1982) emphasised that itwas within particular sorts of social institutions (such as schools, prisons, or hospitals),with their specific microgeographies, that objectifying processes were at their mostintensive and could be most clearly identified, but that the creation of particularsubjectivities was also evident outside such institutions. In making this case, he arguedthat objectifying processes, and the subjectification of individuals, was a process ofexercising power over bodies, so that embodied subjects found themselves more able orless able to do particular things. These processes are necessarily context-specific,relating to particular times and places, and associated with particular social structures,technologies, knowledges, and so on.

Although evidently Foucault's work related to humans, some writers have begun tosuggest ways in which the ideas sketched above could apply to nonhuman animals, too(eg Novek, 2005; Palmer, 2001; Williams, 1999), and in many instances it is possibleto make sense of human ^ animal relationships in contemporary agriculture in at leastthe first two of Foucault's modalities, although the third is more problematic. Forexample, technologies of monitoring are increasingly evident, and are related to tech-niques of governing farmed animals as animals and groups. Expected performancestandards are developed (eg for milk volume, or weight gain) for particular populationsof animals, and animals are monitored to assess their individual performance againstthese criteria. Palmer (2001) focuses on Foucault's conceptualisations of power assomething which circulates through, and constitutes, relationships between people. Inthis understanding, power is not simply repressive, but is also productive with regardto subjectivity. The creative construction of nonhuman subjectivity can be seen as aneffect of the power relations within which human and nonhuman animals areenmeshed. Similarly, institutions, and their microgeographies, which structure the lives(and deaths) of many animals in their associations with humans can be seen as key tothe emergence of contextually specific animal subjectivities, in the same way thatFoucault associated other institutions with human subjectivities. The agricultural archi-tectures of farm buildings, etcöwhich can be seen as institutions which enclose farmedanimals and act on their bodies and behavioursöare powerful examples of this.

Going further, Palmer (2001) suggests that it is also possible to argue that animalsare able to interiorise aspects of those forces which act upon them, so that their beingas subjects is produced from those forces. As she argues, the fact ``[t]hat animalbehaviours can be affected by human actions; that animals interiorise elements of theirrelationship with humans (and with one another) and that their relations to humanbehaviours may be many and unpredictable are presupposed by commonplace inter-actions which humans have with animals'' (page 349). This argument implies that it is

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at least possible to consider that Foucault's third mode of objectification whichproduces subjects could apply to nonhuman animals.

Closely related to the comments above, Foucault (eg 1990 [1976]) uses the concept of`biopower' to describe the entrainment of life itself into ``a densely-constituted fieldof knowledge, power and technique'' (Best and Kellner, 1991, page 50). This biopower,according to Foucault, has two dimensions. The first is concerned with the individual,and is

` centred on the body as a machine: its disciplining, the optimisation of its capabilities,the extortion of its forces, the parallel increase of its usefulness and its docility, itsintegration into systems of efficient and economic controls'' (Foucault, 1990 [1976],page 139).The second concerns the regulation of populations rather than individuals, and

is referred to by Foucault as ``a biopolitics of the population'' (page 139). Foucaultdescribes how the emergence of biopower was characterised by ` an explosion ofnumerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugation of bodies and thecontrol of populations, marking the beginning of an era of `biopower' '' (page 140).This idea of biopower, in particular, is valuable in demonstrating how bodies and lifehave been made understandable and rendered useful in the development of capitalism.Foucault argues that an ascendant capitalist era required ` the controlled insertionof bodies into the machinery of production and the adjustment of the phenomena ofpopulation to economic processes'' (page 145).

Again, while Foucault is discussing biopower in relation to humans, there areuseful lessons here for an analysis of animals in capitalist agriculture. Clearly, throughthe disciplines of agricultural science, the bodies and lives of farmed animals have beenmanipulated in efforts to create productive, relatively docile entities. Crucially, thedisciplining of animals which this entails relies on the particular spatialities of farmsand farm buildings as they are designed to control animals' movements and activities.Similarly, the monitoring and regulation of animal populations are consistently per-formed, increasingly using computer databases and new genetic knowledges to record,analyse, and work on aspects of animal productivity (Grasseni, 2005; Holloway, 2005;Holloway and Morris, 2005). Yet, while these techniques might be seen as reproducinganimals simply as objects, biopower is also, for Foucault, productive of subjectivity.Caught up in the relations of biopower, then, the internalisation of disciplinaryauthority and particular knowledges about life means that individuals become subjectsthrough particular ways of understanding themselves and by behaving in particularways. If we take the example of cows and robotic milking, then, what farming doesto animal bodies, and what it makes them do with their bodies, is important in termsof their subjectivities.

Rabinow and Rose (2003) acknowledge that little enough research has beenconducted on human subjects from the perspective of biopower as they define it;

`The three key elements that are brought together in the concept of biopoweröknowledge of vital life processes, power relations that take humans as living beingsas their object, and the modes of subjectification through which subjects workon themselves qua living beingsöas well as their multiple combinations remainto be charted'' (page 24).

Applying this perspective to nonhuman animals is perhaps even more problematic,with theoretical uncertainties surrounding animal intentionality, agency, and reflexivitymaking it difficult to explore the element of how they might `work on themselves', evenif the elements of knowledge of key life processes, and power relations focusing onliving beings, are manifest in contemporary agriculture. However, returning to Palmer'sargument (2001), the power relations in which animals are embroiled frequently involve

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assumptions that there are emergent characteristics which can be understood as akinto (but different from) human intentionality, agency, and reflexivity, and thus cannotbe reduced simply to capacities over mere things. What is of interest in this paper is,in part, the ways in which such characteristics are anticipated and represented inscientific and agricultural sources discussing AMS. So, considering how they mightbe understood in animals, and how they might be related to particular agriculturaltechnologies, systems, and organisations of space, I turn in the following section toexamine the case of AMS.

After an introduction to AMS, I analyse how particular bovine subjectivities areconstituted through the ways in which dairy cows are represented in a range of texts byfocusing, first, on notions of cows' freedom and choice which are integral to AMS butwhich become complicated by continued human control over individuals' movementand the social relationships necessary to herd membership. Second, I focus on themicrogeographical structures and informational precision technologies of farms usingAMS, which act to implement individualisation and normalisation strategies. I showhow the implementation of AMS produces and expects particular bovine subjectivities.

Robotic milking and the production of bovine subjectsAMS technology: automating the dairy farmRobotic or automatic milking parlours are a recent phenomenon on dairy farms, withthe first commercial installation in the Netherlands in 1992 (de Koning andRodenburg, 2004; Lind et al, 2000; Mottram and Masson, 2001). Their use is currentlylimited to a relatively small number of farms, mainly in Western Europe andNorth America, although the rate of uptake of the technology is rapid. Accordingly,AMS manufacturers represent their technology as part of a continuing process ofagricultural `modernisation', emphasising its purported increases in productivity andefficiency (Fullwood, 2005; Gascoigne Melotte, 2005; Lely, 2005; no date). De Koningand Rodenburg (2004) estimate that there were around 2200 installations globally in2004örising from an estimated 500 in 2000, and 1000 in 2001 (Mottram and Masson,2001). These authors expect the number of installations to increase as the price of theequipment falls, as the technology is argued to improve milk yields and animal welfare(Lind et al, 2000). At present, however, only a very small proportion of farms useAMS. For instance, it is estimated that there were 50 AMS in the UK in 2003 (Buss,2004a), out of a total of around 23 600 dairy farms (DEFRA, 2004): that is, only 0.2%of all dairy farms used AMS in that year. Despite this relative lack of significancein terms of overall UK or global dairy farming, it is precisely because the emergenceof AMS (as a particular moment of innovation associated with a restructuring ofhuman ^ animal ^ technological relationships) has produced a great volume of debateamongst people involved in developing and using a technology which purports todramatically change the lives of farmers and dairy cows that this example providesinteresting insights.

Robotic milking differs from conventional milking parlours in a number of keyways, with important effects on the people and cows involved. First, rather than peoplemilking the cows altogether two or three times daily, robotic milking machines milkcows individually, at any time, without direct human involvement or presence. Thus,there may be only one milking unit per group of 60 or 70 cows, in the place of theconventional `herringbone', `series', or `rotary' parlours in which cows are milked ingroups. Second, the robot can recognise each cow (by corresponding with collars ortags), supply them with the correct portion of concentrate feed, attach the milkingcluster to the udder (using imaging technology and a `memory' of the placing of a cow'steats), conduct the milking process, and release the cow from the unit, again without

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immediate human involvement. Third, as part of the milking process, the robot is alsoinvolved in managing the health and productivity of the cows, including cleaning the udderand monitoring each cow's milk quality and quantity individually. Maltz (2000, page 132)refers to this as the application of precision technology to agriculture, suggesting that`Automatic Milking Systems ... enable the management of every cow individually, thusopening a new horizon for dairy management.'' While previous milking technologies canalso record individual milking `performance', Maltz suggests that management responsecan also be conducted individually rather than at the herd scale using AMS.

For those farmers adopting this technology, robotic milking implies significantchanges to farms and farming practices. First, the spatial organisation of the farmis changed. On most conventional UK dairy farms, cattle are milked as a herd, thenwalk out to a field to graze, being `fetched' later in the day for the second milking.They may actually thus cover an extensive area over the course of a grazing season,although they are likely to be confined indoors for at least part of the winter. Robot-ically milked cows move individually between feeding areas and the milking unit. Yet,because it seems that being milked does not have high motivational attraction forcows, there is also a need to keep them close enough to the milking unit to attractthem into it regularly (Lind et al, 2000). Many robotically milked herds thus experiencea regime of `zero grazing', being kept in buildings all year, with fodder daily cut fromthe fields and brought to them. Second, and relatedly, farm temporality is radicallyaltered, shifting from the twice-daily rhythm of milking the cows as a herd to analmost continuous flow of cows being milked individually. Together, these spatial andtemporal shifts imply a change in how cows move through space and time: in roboticmilking systems cows potentially have more autonomy of movement in both thesedimensions and can move as individuals as well as in a herd. Third, robotic milkingimplies an important shift in human ^ animal relationships on dairy farms. Since theactual milking is conducted by the robot, there is greatly reduced direct, physicalcontact between humans and cows in this system, and a sense in which the human ^cow relationship is mediated by the robotic technology. As a result, the human role isredefined in robotic milking systems, with an emphasis placed on the stockperson'sneed to enhance his or her skills in closely observing his or her cows at other times andplaces, as there is not the usual opportunity to do this at milking time (Owen, 2003),and to become proficient in the use of the large volumes of computerised informationwhich the robotic milking system collects and stores (Knight, 2001). While thispaper focuses on animal subjectivity, human subjectivity, in the sense of what it is tobe a stockperson, is similarly coproduced in association with changed agriculturaltechnologies (see, for example, Seabrook, 1992).

Autonomy and expectation`The cows are actually feeding themselves outside the buildings at the moment, butwhen they feel like it, and they think they want to milk themselves, they'll literallyget up, and go to the machine.''

Suffolk dairy farmer speaking on BBC Radio 4The Food Programme 28 March 2004 (author's transcription)

Key to the constitution of bovine subjectivity in relation to AMS is the idea that cowsgain individual freedom. This is strongly asserted by AMS manufacturers, who arguethat this freedom has productivity and welfare benefits as cows are offered the ability tofollow what are presented as more `natural' routines of feeding, resting, and milking,compared with those on conventional' farms. For example, Gascoigne Melotte (2005)suggests that, in its Zenith AMS, ` each cow defines her own rhythm of resting, milkingand eating, and these matters have a positive influence on the cow's life.'' Lely (2005)

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promotes the productivity of its Astronaut AMS by explaining that ``The reason[for yield increases] is that the cow visits the robot, from its [sic] own free will, asoften as she likes. Milking more than twice a day comes closer to the cow's naturalneeds in terms of feeding her calf. In addition, it enables the animal to get rid of undueudder pressure on her own accord.'' This emphasis on freedom and choice, used bymanufacturers to promote AMS technology, is reiterated in the texts of agriculturalscientists. Owen (2003, page 15), for example, reporting on an experimental AMS inWales, writes that ` The cow can choose when she is milked ... . Cows visit the singlerobotic stall voluntarily at any time, for food and for milking.'' Similarly, Wiktorssonand SÖrensen (2004, page 371) argue that, ` compared with conventional dairy cowmanagement, cows in automatic milking systems are provided with more freedom tochoose their daily activities and rhythms.'' There is agreement that AMS produces cowswhose subjectivity is characterised by the effects of freedom and autonomy which, first,are produced by their relationships with particular technologies and management systems,and, second, differentiate them from cows in conventional' systems, whose `freedom'to follow `natural' behaviours is withheld. However, such freedom and autonomy arecomplicated in at least two respects: first, they are associated with expectations regardingcows' behaviour, and the monitoring and regulation of that behaviour; and, second,individual cows' freedom and autonomyöfor example, in relation to making a choiceabout when to be milkedöis complicated by the ways individuals are enmeshed insocial (herd) relationships. Each is explored in detail below. Both have implicationsfor the microgeographies of dairy farms and farm buildings, and thus for thespatialities producing and being produced by bovine subjectivity in AMS.

First, then, cows are required to be able to learn quickly how to use AMS (de Koningand Rodenburg, 2004; Owen, 2003) and to choose to regularly attend the robot to bemilked. In this sense, although cows milked using AMS are granted freedom of choice, it isnecessary that they make the right choices and exercise their freedom appropriately. Lindet al (2000) thus suggest that human control over milking frequency and access to foodneeds to be retained to some extent so that milking productivity is maintained. Asmentioned above, for many cows, being milked is insufficiently attractive to be worth along walk, and various management and technological processes have been devised inorder to ensure that cows do choose' to visit the robot (eg Spo« rndly et al, 2004). As Millar(2000a; 2000b) thus suggests, the autonomy granted to cows under AMS is rhetoricalrather than `real'. Further, cows which do not `fit' the AMS mode of farming (for example,they do not learn how to use the system, or attend for milking too infrequently) areremoved (Owen, 2003). This sense of expectation, and the implication that cows choosing`badly' will face controls of one sort or another, begins to emphasise that what is notestablished by using AMS is simply the releasing of an inherent subjectivity which wassuppressed in conventional' milking systems.

In this sense, Knight's (2001, page 53) comment is particularly significant. Hewrites, ` To date, AMS has been viewed almost as a romantic technology, enablingthe cow to choose when and how often she wishes to be milked. The obvious flawwith this approach is that if she chooses not to be milked there is little one can do toforce her, and it has quickly become apparent that motivation has to be encouraged.''Although recognising the `romance' of the emancipated bovine subject, Knight under-mines that romance with reference to the circumscription of cows' liberty, which isoften done by using various mechanisms to restrict their access to food until they havebeen robotically milked. Owen thus describes how ` Some installations operate a one-way system, forcing cows to visit the AMS to get feed or water on the other side''(2003, page 16), and de Koning and Rodenburg (2004) emphasise the importanceof appropriate in-barn architectures to creating appropriate voluntary behaviour:

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` Since these systems depend on voluntary attendance, a well laid-out freestall barn isessential to success ... .The routing in the barn should be according to the Eating ^Lying ^Milking principle'' (page 31). A focus of AMS research has thus been on thedesign of the barn layout, involving the placing of the robot in relation to sources offood and water, and the cows' movement and use of space. The designed microgeog-raphy of robotic milking barns is a prominent theme in agricultural science discussionof AMS, with several articles (eg Halachmi et al, 2000; Ketelaar-de Lauwere andIpema 2000) including plans for `model' layouts. Such models organise the internalspace of the AMS barn in such a way as to effect the particular behavioural routinessuggested above. The cows' experience of movement, rhythm, and routine in AMSbarns will differ significantly from those in conventional' milking systems. Accordingto Sharp, discussing an AMS installation in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, ` the buildinglayout, areas and cow movement within the building differ dramatically because of thepresence of robotic milkers. An individual-box robotic milking unit works on a one-way system with a series of non-return gates between the lying, milking and feedingareas. This means the cows have to go through the milking unit to get to the feedstance and ensures they visit the milking unit on a regular basis'' (2003, page 88).Architecture is thus used to structure cows' behaviour and coerce them into movingin particular ways and according to particular rhythms. Paradoxically, then, the sub-jective autonomy effected by the AMS requires a barn with an internal orderingstructure which controls that autonomy differentlyöby controlling the movements ofindividual animals, and the flow and rhythm of the herd (which are thereby more struc-tured and controlled than in a conventional' system). The barn becomes more complexas the robotic technology requires a means of controlling the autonomy which the cowsare attributed with in AMS systems. In effect, the barn is an important part of thetechnology, imposing particular forms of discipline on bovine subjects and representingan expression of biopower in the alignment of technology and spatial organisation withcows' bodies (and the human need to achieve particular effects from those bodies) andsubjectivities. This arrangement is thus a coproduction of technology, spatial organisation,body, and subjectivity. Rather than technology and layout simply drawing on or out pre-existing animal capacities, there is an entrainment of technology, layout, body, andsubjectivity, with each involved in the coproduction of the others: technology and layoutare affected by cows' bodies and behaviours, and bodies and behaviours are affected by thetechnology and the layout.

The structure and discipline associated with barn design are particularly importantas AMS is also associated with an increasing movement towards keeping dairy herdsindoors all year, rather than, as is the case in many areas, allowing them to graze infields for at least part of the year. Cows grazing in fields some way from their roboticmilkers have the capacity to resist their configuring as parts of productive technologicalassemblages by refusing to voluntarily get up and walk from field to machines to bemilked. `Zero grazing' has been a common response. Yet, this in turn leads to problems:walking is `good' for cows, maintaining healthy feet and bone structure. Cows grazingin fields also contribute to a positive image of dairy farming, something increasinglyof concern to the farming community (Buss, 2004b; Ketelaar-de Lauwere and Ipema,2000; Mathijs, 2000). Mathijs, in particular, is concerned with the effects of zero grazingon public perceptions of dairy farming. As he writes, ` Generally, the introduction ofrobotic milking will move the cow from the meadows to the barn'' (2000, page 246),and he cites as evidence of public concern an article from the Dutch newspaper NRCHandelsblad (van der Schans and van der Weijden, 2000) which urges that ` Koe moetin de wei blijven'' (Cows must remain in the field). The issue here seems to be thatzero grazing changes the whole being and image of the cow, from being a `visible',

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grazing animal to being a housed one, invisible to the public. Aside from the effectson public perceptions of dairy farming, this, coupled with the structuring of cows'behaviour achieved through the microgeography of barn layouts, implies that bovinesubjectivities are particular to the combination of AMS and zero grazing.

The second complication is related to the herd context, which is key to under-standing the constitution of animal subjectivity under different farming systems. Aswell as the production of individual subjectivity, herd dynamics are effected by thefarming system. For example, the hierarchies within herds, with cows having `rank'within their groups, are worked out in different ways according to the technologies andspaces the herd is associated with. Hurnik (1992), for example, points out that cowsprefer to do things as a group. Arguing that AMS, which requires cows to be milkedone-by-one, can frustrate this desire to do things together, Hurnik suggests there canbe negative effects on the tolerance displayed by higher ranking cows towards lowerranking ones as they effectively compete for access to the AMS (see Millar, 2000a).Wiktorsson and SÖrensen's ethological study (2004) further illustrates this effect,indicating that lower ranked cows have less choice than more highly ranked ones aboutwhen to approach the robot to be milked, tending to either have to queue for longperiods or use `unsociable' times of the day or night. As they suggest, this might havefurther effects on the microspatial organisation of the milking system. For example,` it is desirable that the waiting area is constructed with a back door so cows can leavethe waiting area when it is full or when for any other reason they feel threatened.Observation of a robotically-milked herd certainly shows that some cows are pushedaside by others in the queue to be milked. A low-ranking cow might be trapped forhours in a closed waiting area'' (page 374). Wiktorsson and SÖrensen are clearlyconcerned about social differentiation within the herd, and show how that differen-tiation has different effects in AMS than in conventional' systemsöfor example, inaccess to feed and milking, and in the differential experience and use of space ofindividual cows. Thus, ` Instead of spending time in the eating area or in the alleys,these [low-ranked] cows spent more time standing in the cubicles, suggesting that itwas a more relaxing environment. The low-ranked cows were found to be closer tothe milking station, especially during resting, indicating a need for them to monitor themilking queue'' (page 376). Similarly, Ketelaar-de Lauwere et al (1996, page 199) arguethat ` It is concluded that the introduction of fully automated milking systems willtrigger effects of social dominance, especially concerning the timing of visits to theAMS and the feeding gate, and the waiting of low-ranking cows in front of the AMS.''

Yet, this set of effects on the herd can be represented differently, particularlyby manufacturers wanting to portray AMS as a positive intervention in cows'intersubjective experiences. Fullwood (2005) suggests, for example, that, under theprotection of the individual milking stall of an AMS, ` Bully cows can no longerintimidate the quieter animals''. Lely (2005) positions the robot as a beneficent partof the herd's environment, while recognising the social hierarchy and differentiation ofexperience that occur within the herd:

` Scientific research has proved that separation of a cow from the herd is one of the moststressful experiences any individual cow can encounter. The stall of the Lely milkingrobot is designed and positioned in such a way that it forms an integrated part of theherd habitat, and the cow is not separated from the herd during milking. It is also aknown fact that each cow has its own order of ranking within the herd. The lower theranking of the individual cow, the more stress she experiences when being confined to arestricted space with the complete herd. Looking at the operation of the AstronautRobotic Milking System we see that each cow selects its own most convenient timesfor milking, in line with the animal's ranking in the herd.''

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This discussion of the representation of enactment of bovine subjectivity in AMSsuggests a set of relationships between people, technologies, and cows (as a group andas individuals) which is `biopowerful' in working on bodies and behaviours, and whichproduces or effects particular animal subjectivities in conditions which can be repre-sented as negative or positive in terms of cows' experience. In the next section I look inmore detail at the monitoring and regulation of life (as body and subjectivity) in AMS,focusing, in particular, on the individualisation and normalisation processes associatedwith AMS.

AMS institutions: biopower and subjectivityIt is clear from the agricultural scientific literature on robotic milking that cow suit-ability in relation to AMS is an important concern. The focus of biopower on life itself(Rabinow and Rose, 2003)öin terms of animals' bodily conformation and, increas-ingly, their genetic `potential'öis thus apparent in restructuring dairy farming aroundrobotic milking technologies. While in the first instance AMS robots have beendesigned around the bodies and behaviours of cows, the establishment of AMS onfarms, in turn, requires that cows become suited to AMS. Comments such as thefollowing support this process, and draw attention to the combination of bodilycharacter and behaviour upon which individual cows may be assessed as suitable orunsuitable. Owen, for instance, writes that ` It is normally expected that approximately5%^ 10% of any herd are not suitable for AMS for various reasons i.e. temperament andudder conformation'' (2003, page 16). More expansively, de Koning and Rodenburg(2004) argue that, ` In terms of the impact on cows, the AM-system is not suitable forall cows. Poor udder shape and teat position may make attachment difficult and somecows may not be trainable to attend for milking voluntarily'' (page 29); successfulautomatic milking requires ` Healthy cows with good feet and `aggressive' eating behav-iour'' (page 31). They describe `problem cows' who need to be made to attend the AMS,and whose milk yields may decrease in the system, unlike those who respond `well' andwhose yields increase. Artmann and Bohlsen (2000) put it in terms of cow `appro-priateness', stating that `All cows not suited to the automatic milking processes shouldbe replaced'' (page 223). In response to this requirement that animals `fit' the AMS,rather than simply (de)selecting cows according to their (un)suitability, attention isbeing paid to breeding future generations of cows which are suited to robotic milking.Adjusting the genotype of animals through selective breeding and genetic appraisal isthus an important strategy of an agricultural biopower, seeking to produce cows whichconform to technological requirements. Although not unproblematic for agriculturalscience, both conformation and behaviour are seen as genetically malleable; Gravert,for example, argues that ` Changing udder shape will not be a major problem, butselection of cows reacting positively to the new system will take several generations''(1992, page 395). For AMS to be effective, then, a process of normalisation is neces-sary, with cows individually assessable against common criteria, and with strategies forproducing suitable future cows being implemented.

In the previous section, robotic milking systems were shown to be akin in someways to the institutions described by Foucault and to be associated with microgeog-raphies and rules producing and expecting particular sorts of cow subjectivity in thename of efficiency, rationality, and modernisation. The normalisation and individuali-sation strategies associated with such institutions, which Foucault applied in his studiesof, for example, criminality or madness (1979; 2001 [1961]), are further evident in theways additional technologies associated with AMS make each cow both `a subject of 'and `subject to' institutional discipline. The AMS manufacturer Lely (no date), forexample, in common with other manufacturers, emphasises how its system ` gives an

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accurate up-to-the-minute knowledge of what is happening to the herd and to everyindividual cow at all times'' (page 3). The agricultural scientific literature defines this interms of a shift, enabled by the introduction of AMS, from herd management tomonitoring and management at the level of the individual cow (Maltz, 2000). Highlysuggestive of the biopowerful implications of this move, it is stressed that maximalanimal `performance' will be achievable through the implementation of such newmanagement possibilities. For example, Knight (2001) writes that ` The technologiesused gather very large amounts of data as they operate, data that in the future will befed into integrated management systems which will ensure optimal performance fromindividual animals'' (page 53). Thus, for example, AMS combined with automaticweighing during milking might be responsible for obtaining ideal bodily conformationfrom animals: ` if one adds body weight recording [food intake] can be adjusted toachieve ideal body condition'' (page 53).

Mottram and Masson (2001) further explore the implications of this. They report,for example, on the use of sensors within AMS which analyse the milk of individualcows, and which detect ` deviations from optimal performance'' (page 77), thus allowingmanagement intervention. They further write that,

`The traditional method of managing cows is to use open loop control models (forexample to plan a ration scheme for an entire year or lactation) and to use manage-ment by exception (i.e. the cow that performed below the target level) as the meansof adapting the model. The availability of smart systems will allow closed loopcontrol systems to be designed and implemented that will be based on modelsthat allow subtle deviations from predicted values of sub-clinical conditions to bedetected before homeostasis is asserted. These systems offer the ability of allowingthe cow to reach her genetic potential'' (page 82).The suggestion here is that veterinary interventions could be made, on the basis of

suboptimal performance, in relation to medical or physical conditions which are notevident from normal management and observation practices. Again emphasising thepossibility of realising a notion of genetic potential, the focus here is on interventionsin life (in terms of bodies, genes, and health/illness) which aim to achieve particulareffects in terms of bodily performance. In these terms, and following the understandingof biopower described by Rabinow and Rose (2003), bovine subjectivities are producedthrough these technological interventions in the sense that what a cow is, or has tobecome, emerges from strategies, technologies, and knowledges for working on thebodies and behaviours of living organisms.

ConclusionsI have argued that livestock animal subjectivities are effects of specific agriculturalsystems, focusing on the recent development of a particular technological interventionin the practices and knowledges of dairy farming and adopting a Foucauldian under-standing of the production of subjectivities and of a biopower associated with strategiesof working on or with life. Processes of subjectification have been identified which:first, are associated with the expectations placed on cows, via an idea of freedomand choice, to establish particular relationships with a new technology; second, arerelated to the particular spatialities and disciplines linked to the technology; third,involve processes of normalisation and individualisation in pursuit of the productionof suitable bodies and behaviours; and, fourth, can be understood under the rubric ofbiopower as acting on, producing, and controlling life.

The approach taken in the paper counters assumptions that, in terms of the ethicsof human ^ nonhuman animal relationships, simply acknowledging an animal subjec-tivity potentially produces, or at least allows an argument for, the better treatment of

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animals in agricultural production. Instead, it examines how subjectivity is constitutedin particular circumstances, and is associated with concurrent processes of `becoming-subject-to'. As a result, the paper also counters suggestions that allowing animals to be`subjects' rather than `things' presupposes less intensive, smaller scale agriculturalsystems. These arguments suggest that industrial agricultural systems deny animalstheir subjectivity, and that, as technological, rational, capitalist aspects of farmingincrease, animals are simply objectified. Instead, smaller scale or `alternative' agricul-tural systems are more likely to promote an awareness of animals as sentient, sapientindividualsöthat is, subjects. However, in the context of the intensive, technologicalsystems presented in the case study of AMS, a subjectivity still emerges. In the case ofAMS, this subjectivity is associated with a particular spatiality and set of technologicalrelations, within a highly technological system designed to rationalise farming. It isthus not possible to simply contrast the `domination' of animals in industrial farmingwith a `freedom' granted by other modes of farming, or to simply say that (for example)AMS are ethically `better' or `worse' for cows than other dairying systems. Instead,particular farming systems produce varying and related effects of freedom and domi-nation according to their use of particular technologies, spatialities, knowledges, andso on.

Bovine subjectivity is thus contingent and heterogeneous. Two key lines ofdifferentiation are evident. First, there is a contemporaneous differentiation insubjectificationöin terms of behaviours, experiences, expectations, bodily and behav-ioural disciplines, and effects of biopoweröbetween cows in robotic milking systemsand those in conventional' milking systems. Similar differentiations might be madebetween dairy cows and other cows kept as suckler cows in beef production, `housecows' on hobby farms, etc. Secondly, there is a historical differentiation: bovinesubjectivity has a history rather than an essence, and bovine being and bodilycapacities are relational in terms of the different technologies, economies, and socialrelations (with humans and with other cows) that cows are associated with. Thus,for example, the emergent subjectivity of robotically milked cows in the late 20th andearly 21st centuries differs from that of hand-milked cows in the 19th century, and soon (and is clearly different from that of the `wild' progenitors of `domestic' livestock).Cows have thus experienced different ways of being, have been and are differentlymonitored, circumscribed, and related to by people, and have experienced differentspatialities, ways of moving, rhythms, routines, and herd ^ individual relationships.In parallel with this, for those people involved in dairy farming, human subjectivityis similarly contingent on the varying social and technological relations of differentfarming systems, with implications for the ethics of human ^ animal relations. Theshift in AMS towards more technologically mediated relationships with animals haseffects on the subjectivities of both cows and humans, and on the relationshipsbetween them. The different representations of cows in AMS (as having choiceor freedom, as needing to fulfil their genetic potential, or as being bodily and/orbehaviourally suitable or unsuitable, etc) also raise problematic issues about howlivestock animals are understood and related to in particular agricultural contexts.More widely, questions are raised by this specific case study about the extent towhich particular technological interventions in the lives of domestic animals areregarded, by groups including farmers and consumers, as acceptable in the ways inwhich they affect animal bodies, behaviours, and experience. The ethics of howtechnological `advances' are deployed in farming, and how they might restructurehuman ^ animal relations, are of increasing social concern, as seen, for example, ina recent report by the UK's Farm Animal Welfare Council on the implementationof new livestock breeding technologies (FAWC, 2004) and in relation to developing

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ways of `rationally' evaluating and remaking animal bodies (Holloway, 2005; Stassartand Whatmore, 2003). As such, the situated ethical responses of those directly orindirectly involved in the application of such technologies warrant further research,complementing the existing more abstract techniques developed for assessing theethical implications of particular technologies for livestock animals (eg Millar, 2000a;2000b).

This paper has analysed secondary sources associated with ongoing debates infarming and agricultural science concerning AMS. As such, the ways in whichhumans involved in agricultural science and practice are implicated in the represen-tation and constitution of animal subjectivities has been examined in relation to thistechnology: the paper has focused explicitly on such human perspectives. This isonly one of a number of perspectives which could be developed, however, andprimary research with people and animals on farms and research institutions woulddevelop what is presented here and, in particular, move towards embracing the non-human more fully in research strategies. Empirical research would further extendunderstandings of human ^ animal ^ technology relationships, and gain a sense ofthe coconstitution of human and animal subjectivities in differently technologicallymediated relationships. In particular, systematic observational research with cows inAMS (and elsewhere) would afford a perspective on the coconstitution of technol-ogies and their `users' (both cows and humans), their implications for each other, andtheir adaptations to each other (Oudshoorn and Pinch, 2003), exploring, in partic-ular, the relationships between this technology and cows' sensual experiences andtheir individual and social behaviours, routines, and agencies. In this, a perspectivewould be gained not only on how cows are themselves shaped, in their bodies,behaviours, and experiences, by particular technologies, but also how the technol-ogies themselves recall animal bodies and technologists' understandings of how thosebodies work and how livestock animals `live'. An approach involving the close follow-ing of individual animals, observation of herd dynamics and bovine interactions,along with systematic observation of cow ^ human ^ technology relations would allowexploration, first, of how the engagement of cows with particular technologicalapparatuses erases particular aspects of their being while also affording othertrajectories of bovine becoming, and, second, of the complex, relational ways inwhich livestock animals, humans, and particular technologies (which need not be as`high-tech' as AMS) are tangled together and emerge together, both in the designand circulation of technologies (and their associated knowledges) and through theireveryday use in particular agricultural situations.

Nevertheless, analysis of the secondary sources used in this paper proves useful inassessing the ongoing production of livestock animals as subjects and as subjectifiedin agriculture, allowing a focus on how an emergent subjectivity is constituted bya focus on the representation, manipulation, and control of life. The bringing to bearof particular technologies and knowledges on animal bodies and behaviours is, asa result, shown to be implicated in how farmed animals are subjects of and subjectto farming systems. Although this does imply that it is not possible to suggest ways offarming which simply grant animals `freedom' to express `natural' behaviours, it doesmean that a critical analysis can explore in more complex ways the effects of powerwithin particular farming practices.

Acknowledgements. I would like to thank two anonymous referees, along with Phil Dunham,Sally Eden, Russell Hitchings, and Carol Morris, for constructive comments on earlier versionsof this paper.

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