Humanities and Arts

Making kangaroos grievable; making grievability non-human

  • 0

© attribution CC-BY

copyright icon





When Australian economist Ross Garnaut proposed to increase the commercial kangaroo industry in 2008, it started a national debate on the supposed edibility of kangaroos. Campaigns against the commercial kangaroo industry and hesitance amongst many consumers to eat kangaroo reflect concerns about viewing kangaroos as food. This article explores the reactions and challenges that originate from the kangaroo’s changing role in society by using Judith Butler’s concept of grievable lives. Using this framework shows that what animals we eat goes beyond nutritional value; it symbolizes deeper values regarding human–animal relations and illustrates why and how not all animals are seen and treated as the same.