Proposal preview

LIVESTOCK ECONOMY IN THE AMERICAS: A TRANSNATIONAL FRAMEWORK

In the early 1970s, U.S. historian Manuel Machado Jr. published an article outlining an ambitious agenda for historians: to compile comparative studies of livestock farming in the Americas. Machado contended that the continent’s common stock-raising culture could function as a starting point to address economic, political, and social developments among the region’s people and institutions. This session proposal is a partial response to Machado’s call. We will bring together scholars whose work deals with a diverse array of aspects related to the livestock economy across the Americas, from colonial times to the past century. Topics of presentations will address several potential themes: production (husbandry methods, stock improvement, or breeding technology); livestock commercial circuits (regional and international, including modes of transportation and cattle trails); the environmental impact of ranching (diseases, deforestation, water overuse); property rights (disputes over land, grazing rights, or crop displacement); meat production (preserved and refrigerated); meat supply chains and consumption of animal derived foods. One of the goals is to highlight current scholarship on a commodity that, while receiving significant domestic attention across the continent, has barely been the focus of systematic research beyond national boundaries. One additional related objective of this session is to underscore past and recent transnational trends in breeding technology, animal disease control, and human nutrition standards.

Organizer(s)

  • Maria-Aparecida Lopes California State University, Fresno mlopes@csufresno.,edu United States
  • Robert W. Wilcox Northern Kentucky University wilcox@nku.edu United States

Session members

  • Carla Menegat , Instituto Federal Sul-rio-grandense
  • María Inés Moraes, Universidad de la República, (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administración
  • Maria-Aparecida Lopes, California State University, Fresno (U.S.)
  • Reinaldo Funes Monzote, Universidad de La Habana (Cuba), Fundación Antonio Núñez Jiménez
  • Reynaldo de los Reyes Patiño, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas Mora (Mexico)
  • Robert W. Wilcox, Northern Kentucky University (U.S.)

Discussant(s)

  • Maria-Aparecida Lopes California State University, Fresno mlopes@csufresno.edu

Papers

Panel abstract

In the early 1970s, U.S. historian Manuel Machado Jr. published an article outlining an ambitious agenda for historians: to compile comparative studies of livestock farming in the Americas. Machado contended that the continent’s common stock-raising culture could function as a starting point to address economic, political, and social developments among the region’s people and institutions. This session proposal is a partial response to Machado’s call. We will bring together scholars whose work deals with a diverse array of aspects related to the livestock economy across the Americas, from colonial times to the past century. Presentations will cover topics related to ranching, commercial circuits; the environmental impact of ranching; property rights; meat production; meat supply chains and consumption of animal-derived foods. The panel will highlight current scholarship on a commodity that, while receiving significant domestic attention across the continent, has barely been the focus of systematic research beyond national boundaries.

1st half

Crecimiento urbano y consumo: problemas en torno al abasto de carne en la ciudad de México, 1940-1970

de los Reyes Patiño, Reynaldo

El objetivo de este trabajo es estudiar los problemas del abasto cárnico de la ciudad de México entre las décadas de 1940 y 1970. Dado el incremento demográfico acelerado en esa ciudad, el gobierno central instrumentó políticas públicas para abastecer su creciente demanda de alimentos, controlando las exportaciones e importaciones de alimentos básicos. En una época donde se pecuarizó la dieta humana, suministrar carne a precios accesibles para los capitalinos se convirtió en una prioridad difícil de satisfacer, dado que buena parte de la producción ganadera no se centraba en el mercado interno sino en las rentables exportaciones. Por ello, el eje del trabajo será la tensión entre las autoridades federales, que tenían el objetivo de limitar los envíos a Estados Unidos para encaminarlos al mercado interno, y los ganaderos del norte (principal zona productora), que veían en esas medidas una amenaza a sus negocios pecuarios transnacionales.

El objetivo de este trabajo es estudiar los problemas del abasto cárnico de la ciudad de México entre las décadas de 1940 y 1970. Dado el incremento demográfico acelerado en esa ciudad, el gobierno central instrumentó políticas públicas para abastecer su creciente demanda de alimentos, controlando las exportaciones e importaciones de alimentos básicos. En una época donde se pecuarizó la dieta humana, suministrar carne a precios accesibles para los capitalinos se convirtió en una prioridad difícil de satisfacer, dado que buena parte de la producción ganadera no se centraba en el mercado interno sino en las rentables exportaciones. Por ello, el eje del trabajo será la tensión entre las autoridades federales, que tenían el objetivo de limitar los envíos a Estados Unidos para encaminarlos al mercado interno, y los ganaderos del norte (principal zona productora), que veían en esas medidas una amenaza a sus negocios pecuarios transnacionales.

Cuban Livestock and the Policies on Animal Protein from Hot Spring to the Special Period, 1943-2000

Funes Monzote,Reinaldo

After WWII, development policy in the Tropical world emphasized the increase of animal protein in a given national diet. In 1943, forty-four states, including Cuba, participated in the Hot Springs Conference for Food and Agriculture. Taking the country’s report to the conference as a departure point, this presentation explores the evolution of animal protein production and consumption in Cuba over a half-century. It gives particular attention to changes after the revolution of 1959 and, in particular, to policies aimed at transforming the nation’s cattle stock to prioritize milk over beef production. Policies directed at other animal protein sources. Many studies treat agriculture and food production separately; my work aims at an integrated approach, set against the background of the Cold War and the construction of a socialist system. I also consider the implications of the early 1990s collapse of the agro-industrial model for local animal protein production and consumption.

After WWII, development policy in the Tropical world emphasized the increase of animal protein in a given national diet. In 1943, forty-four states, including Cuba, participated in the Hot Springs Conference for Food and Agriculture. Taking the country’s report to the conference as a departure point, this presentation explores the evolution of animal protein production and consumption in Cuba over a half-century. It gives particular attention to changes after the revolution of 1959 and, in particular, to policies aimed at transforming the nation’s cattle stock to prioritize milk over beef production. Policies directed at other animal protein sources. Many studies treat agriculture and food production separately; my work aims at an integrated approach, set against the background of the Cold War and the construction of a socialist system. I also consider the implications of the early 1990s collapse of the agro-industrial model for local animal protein production and consumption.

No Meat for the Masses. A Transnational History of How Salt Meat Vanished from the Carioca Table

Lopes, Maria-Aparecida

From the late colonial times until the 1910s, salt beef (charque) was the primary source of animal protein to Cariocas. However, in the latter decade, it disappeared from the shelves of local grocery shops. To understand this debacle in Brazil’s capital, this work considers developments in Rio’s leading suppliers: Argentina and Uruguay, as both transitioned from the tasajo to the refrigerated meat industry to meet the needs of urban markets in the Atlantic North. When freezing and chilling technology allowed meat to be transported over great distances, traditional cattle production and meat preservation techniques were phased out or relocated to less competitive areas; such was the case salt meat processing plants in South America. In short, charque was the victim of the refrigeration industry. This is a story about how developments in the global livestock economy and in meat consumption practices shaped charque offerings in Rio de Janeiro.

From the late colonial times until the 1910s, salt beef (charque) was the primary source of animal protein to Cariocas. However, in the latter decade, it disappeared from the shelves of local grocery shops. To understand this debacle in Brazil’s capital, this work considers developments in Rio’s leading suppliers: Argentina and Uruguay, as both transitioned from the tasajo to the refrigerated meat industry to meet the needs of urban markets in the Atlantic North. When freezing and chilling technology allowed meat to be transported over great distances, traditional cattle production and meat preservation techniques were phased out or relocated to less competitive areas; such was the case salt meat processing plants in South America. In short, charque was the victim of the refrigeration industry. This is a story about how developments in the global livestock economy and in meat consumption practices shaped charque offerings in Rio de Janeiro.

2nd half

Breeding and Hunting in the Colonial Rio de la Plata’s Cattle Farming

Moraes, María Inés

The historiography of the River Plate for a long time identified a sequence of stages in the technological development of regional cattle ranching. The oldest and most backward stage was represented by the hunting of wild cattle and the most evolved stage was presented as the breeding of genetically improved animals for the food industry. This paper discusses this sequence and its underlying evolutionary perspective, based on an analytical framework developed by the anthropologist Tim Ingold in his studies on pastoral communities (Ingold 1980, 1986). From the empirical point of view, this work presents recent research results on systems of hunting and breeding in the Rio de la Plata region along the second half of the 18th century. The variables analyzed are: the institutional bases of each system, the composition and volume of the animal stock, the products and markets of these systems, the forms of organization of production and...

The historiography of the River Plate for a long time identified a sequence of stages in the technological development of regional cattle ranching. The oldest and most backward stage was represented by the hunting of wild cattle and the most evolved stage was presented as the breeding of genetically improved animals for the food industry. This paper discusses this sequence and its underlying evolutionary perspective, based on an analytical framework developed by the anthropologist Tim Ingold in his studies on pastoral communities (Ingold 1980, 1986). From the empirical point of view, this work presents recent research results on systems of hunting and breeding in the Rio de la Plata region along the second half of the 18th century. The variables analyzed are: the institutional bases of each system, the composition and volume of the animal stock, the products and markets of these systems, the forms of organization of production and their average productivity. From the analytical point of view, the work underlines the determining role of the different ownership regimes in the history of these systems.

Brazilians and Livestock Production in Northern Uruguay: Production and Market in Mid-19th Century

Menegat, Carla

In 1850, the Brazilian Imperial government listed 1353 properties that belonged to Brazilians cattle ranchers on Uruguay. A military intervention known as Campaign Against Oribes and Rosas followed after the list was done, which would lead to the end of the Guerra Grande in Uruguay, in 1851. Five treats were signed between both countries, favoring the Brazilian cattle ranchers. Since this list is part of a relationship that runs through most of the 19th century and involves Brazilian cattle ranchers living in Uruguay, authorities of the later, and the Empire, the objective is to discuss the impact of the cattle ranchers’ presence in the neighboring country, considering the occupation of the territory and the constitution of a market and production network. This comes with the understanding that the national identity claim of these ranchers was closely linked to a trading circuit that followed a particular and very singular logic.

In 1850, the Brazilian Imperial government listed 1353 properties that belonged to Brazilians cattle ranchers on Uruguay. A military intervention known as Campaign Against Oribes and Rosas followed after the list was done, which would lead to the end of the Guerra Grande in Uruguay, in 1851. Five treats were signed between both countries, favoring the Brazilian cattle ranchers. Since this list is part of a relationship that runs through most of the 19th century and involves Brazilian cattle ranchers living in Uruguay, authorities of the later, and the Empire, the objective is to discuss the impact of the cattle ranchers’ presence in the neighboring country, considering the occupation of the territory and the constitution of a market and production network. This comes with the understanding that the national identity claim of these ranchers was closely linked to a trading circuit that followed a particular and very singular logic.

A Peculiar Association: Paraguayan Ranching Development and Neighborly Relations, 1870s-1930s

Wilcox, Robert

After the devastating Paraguayan War (1864-70), Paraguay was forced into dependence on its neighbors for trade and good will. Beginning with a series of land laws in the 1880s large numbers of foreign investors soon owned sizeable tracts of Paraguayan territory suited to livestock raising. Yet despite a significant increase in the cattle population production remained rudimentary, only developing an export market in the twentieth century. Yet until well into the century most cattle ranching relied on criollo cattle in open range conditions to supply a foreign-dominated, but limited, export sector. Over subsequent decades neighboring governments simultaneously restricted trade through legislation and ignored extra-legal exports and imports, whether of live cattle, salt beef (charque), hides, or canned beef. This did not change markedly until after the Chaco War (1932-35). This paper will evaluate the role of the Paraguayan cattle industry’s complex relationships with foreign investors and governments in constraining the...

After the devastating Paraguayan War (1864-70), Paraguay was forced into dependence on its neighbors for trade and good will. Beginning with a series of land laws in the 1880s large numbers of foreign investors soon owned sizeable tracts of Paraguayan territory suited to livestock raising. Yet despite a significant increase in the cattle population production remained rudimentary, only developing an export market in the twentieth century. Yet until well into the century most cattle ranching relied on criollo cattle in open range conditions to supply a foreign-dominated, but limited, export sector. Over subsequent decades neighboring governments simultaneously restricted trade through legislation and ignored extra-legal exports and imports, whether of live cattle, salt beef (charque), hides, or canned beef. This did not change markedly until after the Chaco War (1932-35). This paper will evaluate the role of the Paraguayan cattle industry’s complex relationships with foreign investors and governments in constraining the development of the nation’s ranching sector into the 1930s.