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Speculative accountability for animal kinship

Alvise Favotto, John Francis McKernan and Yanru Zou

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2022, vol. 84, issue C

Abstract: In this paper we argue that the dominant model of accountability, which binds it to responsibility, is untenable, and propose a conception of speculative accountability as an alternative. We develop and apply that conception in context of the problematic of the animal as explored in Jacques Derrida’s posthumanism; in Donna Haraway’s critical response to Derrida; in the ethology of Vinciane Despret; and in María Puig de la Bellacasa’s studies of speculative ethics and care. The speculative accountability we propose is grounded in a commitment to responsiveness to the other and to the particularity of situation, and in a recognition that accountability is always enacted in contexts of real uncertainty and incomplete and provisional understandings. This accountability does not at all reject measurement, calculation, and standards of comparison, but it does insist that accountability cannot properly be reduced to the (re)enactment of predetermined routines and the values they carry; it should proceed speculatively through creative experiment, in an open-ended quest of better ways of taking the other into account. We support our contentions with illustrations drawn from ethology and animal studies, and in particular studies of animal husbandry for dairy and meat production. We use the example of accountability enacted in the meat industry through, the audit practices developed by Temple Grandin, to illustrate the application of a real speculative accountability in practice.

Keywords: Speculative accountability; Animal kinship (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:84:y:2022:i:c:s1045235421000794

DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2021.102360

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