Meat in a post-development world: insights from Bhutan

Authors: Mai Kobayashi*, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
Topics: Social Geography, food systems, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Bhutan, Buddhism, post-development, food sovereignty, animal husbandry, meat consumption,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: 8223, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With Gross National Happiness a globally recognized concept, one could say Bhutan is an experimental laboratory for post-development theories. In an effort to meet Bhutan’s socio-cultural, economic and ecological challenges amidst a quickly changing world, the central government of Bhutan has implemented a number of legislations and rules to regulate and manage the changes taking place. Top down interventions also come in the form of religious teachings through expanding mobility and access to information. Such interventions have both directly and indirectly shaped the ways in which people relate to the production, distribution and consumption of food. Most dramatic, perhaps, has been the transitions observed in how people relate to the production and consumption of meat. This paper sheds light on the changing landscape of food choices and access both in and around city centers in Bhutan as it relates to shifting value politics surrounding Buddhist teachings and notions of development.

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