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date: 20 April 2024

The Harms and Crimes of Farming/Foodfree

The Harms and Crimes of Farming/Foodfree

  • Ekaterina GladkovaEkaterina GladkovaDepartment of Social Sciences, Northumbria University Newcastle


The processes of food production and consumption illuminate the relationship between society and the natural environment as well as the inner workings of the global political economy. As a result, food has been increasingly used by scholars to explore the world, and food-focused research is a rapidly growing research area within criminology. Studies of food crime and harm challenge the legal-procedural approach in criminology by examining harmful but legal activities and challenging the limitations of the victimhood construction. Industrial farming presents a useful case study for expanding the criminological research frontiers. Although a socially normalized and even encouraged practice, it is characterized by systemic harms rooted in the normal functioning of the capitalist food system. This includes harms against more-than-human animals, the natural environment, and communities living in that environment.


  • Critical Criminology


Since the processes of food production and consumption illuminate the relationship between society and the natural environment as well as the inner workings of the global political economy, food has been increasingly used by scholars to explore the world. Food-focused research has also been developing in criminology. The chapter provides an overview of food crime and harm research, with a specific focus on the broad spectrum of harms associated with industrial farming.

Food Crimes

In recognition of the changes in food industry practices, the concept of food crime has been introduced, referring to the “many crimes that are involved in the production, distribution and selling of basic foodstuffs” (Croall, 2007, p. 206). Croall’s (2013) later conceptualization of food crime is expansive enough to cover the “crimes that directly involve the processing, production, and sale of food, as well as those that are more indirectly involved in local and global food trades (such as tax evasion)” (p. 167).

Thus, the definition of food crime has evolved and spanned across a broad spectrum of licit and illicit activities. Gray and Hinch (2015) argue that food crime should be analyzed by investigating the criminogenic factors and the complexity of the contemporary food production system. For them, food crimes include a range of illicit behaviors, ranging from economic and physical harms to both the humans and animals involved in the food industry, to food adulteration and the misrepresentation of food quality.

Some of the avenues for research have included food fraud (Flores Elizondo et al., 2018; Lord et al., 2017; van Ruth et al., 2018), food mislabeling (Croall, 2013; Lawrence, 2008), illegal anticompetitive trade practices (Gluck, 2008), food pricing (Blythman, 2011), and crimes in the rural context (DeKeseredy & Donnermeyer, 2013), to name a few.

Food crime–related research has intersected with white-collar and particularly corporate criminological perspectives (Cheng, 2012; Croall, 2013; Fitzgerald, 2010; Gray & Hinch, 2015). Croall (2013) states that much food crime can be described as state-corporate crime, and a variety of financial crimes have implicated food—from subsidies fraud in the European Union to the growth of wine investment fraud. Moreover, Rizzuti (2021) argues that the involvement of organized crime and mafia-type groups in food crime has been overlooked and deserves further attention.

Food poisoning is another example of criminological synthesis. Food poisoning results from neglect of or disregard for regulations involving the handling of food (Croall, 2013), with research revolving around several case studies (Pennington, 2003; Williams, 2007). Additionally, food poisoning research intersects with state-corporate crime research, as Leighton (2016) shows. By investigating mass Salmonella poisoning by the Peanut Corporation of America, he demonstrates that this corporate crime was facilitated by substantial weaknesses in regulation and labels it a state-facilitated corporate crime. Tombs and Whyte (2010) develop this line of thinking further by discussing corporate harms (rather than crimes) caused by food poisoning. They highlight the corporate responsibility for large numbers of food-related illnesses and deaths. Most of those result from criminal breaches of food hygiene and food safety legislation, yet prosecutions of food-related breaches are rare. Additionally, there is little official information on food poisoning–related deaths—while between 100 and 200 people in the United Kingdom die directly as a result of Salmonella and Campylobacter every year, Tombs and Whyte (2010) state that this does not present the full extent of food poisoning–related deaths. Adopting the harm perspective also reveals that food poisoning cases have lasting and complex effects on health and increase the average person’s chances of dying from any other disease or condition (Tombs & Whyte, 2010).

Criminological research into harmful labor practices (Davies, 2018, 2020) and crimes against food producers (Tourangeau & Fitzgerald, 2020) also show how food crime scholarship benefits from adopting multidisciplinary perspectives. The situation of migrant workers in agriculture, fishing, and food processing has been described as “new slavery” (Lawrence, 2008, p. 111), yet a number of controversial practices may still be legal but are seen as “ethically” or “morally” problematic (Davies & Ollus, 2019). Many exploitative labor practices are not even classed as crimes even if they are reported and are instead considered regulatory, civil breaches or may even be legal supply chain practices (Tombs & Whyte, 2007). Brisman et al. (2016) document human rights consequences of forced labor through the case of exploitation of rural workers, also demonstrating how exploitation is embedded into the fabric of the globalized industrial food system. Similarly, Fitzgerald (2015) discusses the normalized yet problematic conditions in slaughterhouses across the globe, also highlighting inadequate enforcement of safety regulations. Del Prado-Lu (2018) also demonstrates the adverse effects on food producers by discussing the health risks from pesticides and the lack of social and health protection for farmers, particularly in the Global South. Hinch (2018) reveals how exploitation and harm are perpetuated in his analysis of forced labor in the cocoa industry: Governments are often complicit in exploitation in the name of protecting commercial interests.

In her list of eight different types of food crimes, Croall (2013) also lists crimes against nonhuman animals. Illegal actions against animals treated as “livestock” include inhumane treatment and living conditions, inhumane transportation, and inhumane slaughter (Tourangeau & Fitzgerald, 2020). Tourangeau and Fitzgerald (2020) describe the cases of the Canadian Maple Leaf Farms being fined for inhumane treatment of chickens during transportation and breaches of the EU laws in transportation of animals. In the United Kingdom, veterinarians and meat hygiene inspectors working for the Food Standards Agency inside abattoirs reported a total of 9,511 animal welfare breaches between July 2014 and June 2016 (Wasley & Robbins, 2016). Moreover, Animal Equality—an international animal protection organization—continues to document woeful breaches of animal welfare regulation in the United Kingdom and beyond.

However, some authors note that these accounts are only “the tip of the iceberg” (Gray & Hinch, 2019, p. 19), urging advancement of empirical and theoretical research on food crime and harm (Cheng, 2012; Croall, 2013; Walters, 2006). The section Food Harms—Case Study of Industrial Farming elaborates on the concept of food harm and zooms into the case study of industrial farming.

Food Harms—Case Study of Industrial Farming

The emergence of food crime research inevitably revived the persistent debate on what crime is (Quinney, 1970; Schwendinger & Schwendinger, 1970; Sutherland, 1939; Tappan, 1947). Focusing solely on food crime creates boundaries preventing one from venturing beyond the rigid framework of criminal-lawful behavior. Food production may involve serious harms that lie beyond traditional definitions of crime and are not statutorily proscribed. It is indisputable that the concerns about environmental degradation and pollution in relation to the current modes of food production and consumption have been on the rise.

Most food crime scholars also recognize the importance of exploring food-related issues where no laws are being broken but environmental, social, and physical harms still occur. For instance, in a designated Handbook of Food Crime, Gray (2018) argues for the necessity of a food crime perspective that questions the concepts of crime and harm in relation to food issues and includes a broad variety of illegal, criminal, harmful, unjust, unethical, or immoral food-related practices. More specifically, Croall (2013, p. 173) suggests a study of individual and cultural factors determining food production and consumption in light of a wider capitalist and corporate “culture of callousness” and organizational dynamics that lead to crime and harm.

Environmental and social harms associated with food production have been brought to light by green criminologists (Beirne, 2007; Brisman & South, 2018; Sollund, 2015; Walters, 2006, 2011; White, 2008, 2011). Green criminology provides an academic space for criminologists to explore issues related to the environment. The term appeared in the 1990s in an attempt to systematize the study of environmental crime (Lynch, 1990; South, 1998). Green criminology endeavored to shift the criminological focus to natural environments, reexamine the definition of crime to include acts that are environmentally harmful but legally permitted, and expand the concept of justice in relation to environmental frames (Lynch & Stretesky, 2014). As a result, much of the green criminological research focused on exposing various social and ecological injustices (Brisman, 2009; Carrabine et al., 2009; Lynch & Stretesky, 2001; White, 2003, 2008).

A green criminological perspective acknowledges that certain food production practices, despite their legality, ubiquity, and social acceptance, cause widespread and long-lasting harms. This critical perspective within criminology sees the need to analyze such harms, the sociopolitical forces behind them, and their consequences (Gray & Hinch, 2015, 2019; Lynch et al., 2015).

The discussion around the normalization of harm has been further developed by Robert Agnew (2013). He contends that certain ordinary acts (e.g., consuming meat on a regular basis, choosing gasoline-powered automobiles for transportation, purchasing consumer products) contribute to environmental degradation. Their ordinary nature ensures their regular repetition, and, as they are deemed acceptable and even desirable, their cumulative effect aggravates environmental problems. While Agnew focuses on the individual-level environmental harms, Copson (2018) cautions that individual harms can only be identified once structural harms have been addressed. Therefore, an assumption can be made that acceptable and desirable routine activities that create environmental problems can also be performed in the form of structural harm.

Agnew (2013) focuses on individual meat consumption but leaves the interrogation of meat production intact. While farm animals are critical to a sustainable agricultural system and especially for smallholders who comprise most of the world’s farmers (Reynolds et al., 2015), intensive meat production has been facing a lot of criticism. Intensive meat production is an example of a trivialized harmful practice that has structural origins. It is an “ordinary act” characterized by conformity with existing norms of meat production, rather than an act of deviance (Brisman & South, 2018). Ritchie (2004) suggests that the legal practice of industrial farming that “impoverishes rural communities, pollutes our rivers, depletes our soils, destroys our wilderness, extinguishes wildlife species, mistreats animals, and sickens and kills people” (p. 179) should be interrogated rather than taken for granted. Passas (2005) also stresses that factory farming results in social and environmental grievances. Sollund (2015) concludes that industrial farming should be open for green criminological exploration as it opens multiple avenues for studies of harm construction, denial, and neutralization. Larsen (2012, p. 44) concurs with this statement, suggesting that agricultural production can also be viewed as “structural violence or structural damage,” and its damage-wreaking consequences should be considered criminal in either a judicial or a moral sense.

As a result, the sections Harms for More-than-human Animals, Harms for the Natural Environment, Harms for the Society, and Political Economic Implications document the extensive nature of harms associated with industrial meat production, through the lenses of criminology and beyond, as well as broader political economic implications of this harmful practice.

Harms for More-than-human Animals

Existing criminological research on intensive farming draws attention to human–animal relationships in food production. Beirne (2014, p. 55) coined the term “theriocide” to summarize the diverse ways human actions cause the deaths of animals. The spectrum of the term covers, among others, intensive rearing regimes.

Animal harm is an integral part of factory farming. Both Agnew (1998) and Nurse (2013) single out factory farming as one of the causes of animal abuse. Animal abuse has become a normalized practice that keeps the wheels of the meat production industry turning. Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed yearly for human consumption (Fitzgerald, 2019). The advent of factory farming overturned the values of animal husbandry where farmers were considerate of the needs of nonhuman animals. Instead, nonhuman animals are used to meet the needs of the meat production industry (Fiber-Ostrow & Lovell, 2016), one of which is profit making, achieved through production increases and lowering of production costs. The latter results in farm animals being maimed, confined in crammed spaces, raised in artificial settings, fed unnatural diets, and fattened with growth hormones (Fiber-Ostrow & Lovell, 2016).

Lives of industrially farmed animals are significantly shorter than of those animals living in the wild. For instance, in the United Kingdom, farmed male pigs live only for 20 to 24 weeks (Wyatt, 2014), whereas pigs that are well cared for can live for up to 20 years. Living conditions on the majority of industrial farms contribute to shorter life spans. In the United States, pregnant pigs are kept in small sow stalls (gestation crates), pigs with piglets are transferred to slightly larger but still confined farrowing crates, and growing pigs live in barren, overcrowded pens (Farms Not Factories, 2018). Gestation crates have been banned in the United Kingdom since 1999, yet most U.K. sows farrow in crates (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2020). Such conditions contribute to the proliferation of infectious diseases, threatening animal health and welfare. The case of swine fever is illustrative—the disease has already killed 60% of domestic pigs in China alone and a quarter of all domestic pigs in the world (Neubauer, 2020).

Moreover, industrial farming is sustained by inflicting unnecessary violence against nonhuman animals. Wyatt (2014) and Fitzgerald (2019) describe how pigs’ tails are docked or clipped to prevent the animals from biting each other’s tails when they come into contact. Another common practice is clipping piglets’ teeth. Since the majority of the practices aim to reduce harm and prevent injury, the question of why harm is so prevalent among animals on industrial farms arises (Wyatt, 2014). In the pigs’ case, the stress related to confinement and the inability to express their natural behaviors induce them to bite each other’s tails and other limbs. Pigs also bite at the bars of their enclosures, leaving the front of their crates to be covered with blood (Farms Not Factories, 2018). Finally, being the end goal of the industry, killing of an animal reflects the ethos of brutality that defines intensive farming. In the United Kingdom, pigs are first made unconscious electronically or gaseously and then have the blood vessels in their chests slit. The first part of the killing often leaves the pigs still conscious while their blood vessels are cut, thus causing severe pain (Wyatt, 2014).

Moreover, research into industrial meat production features the topic of speciesism, thus encompassing the magnitude of animal abuse (Sollund, 2012; South, 2007), referring to “a set of widely shared beliefs that result from, and support, oppressive social arrangements” (Sollund, 2012, p. 94). In regard to intensive farming, Sollund (2012) documents how prejudice against animals was transformed into a harmful, exploitative practice because of ideological legitimation expressed by the meat industry and state authorities. She also applies Sykes and Matza’s (1957) neutralization techniques to shed light on meat eating from the consumers’ point of view.

Harms for the Natural Environment

Ruhl (2000) provides an exhaustive summary of the environmental implications of intensive farming: “farms pollute ground water, surface water, air, and soils; they destroy open space and wildlife habitat; they erode soils and contribute to sedimentation of lakes and rivers; they deplete water resources; and they often simply smell bad” (p. 266). The process of farm construction implies that either a new area needs to be converted into a farm or an existing farm needs to be expanded. As a result, farming does not just shape the countryside; it becomes the countryside, as landscapes start resembling industrial sites set in rural areas (Harvey, 1997). Furthermore, intensive farming results in increases of animal waste. Whereas in nonintensive farms, animal waste is an essential element of a natural recycling process, animal waste disposal becomes a problem in intensive farms (Blanchette, 2020; Goodman & Redclift, 1991). Mismanagement of both waste itself and wastewater results in air, soil, and water pollution.

Air pollution occurs when nitrogen compounds from animal waste are drawn into the air. The combination of nitrogen and hydrogen makes ammonia, which is seen as the predominate form of air pollution from intensive farming (Ruhl, 2000). The sources of soil pollution are the ponds or lagoons where animal waste is kept. When these facilities are not well insulated, animal excrement can enter the soil, resulting in zinc and nitrate contamination. The toxicity of both makes the soil unsuitable for other agriculture. Moreover, soil can also be contaminated through pathogens when slurry (a mixture of animal manure and water) is spread across the fields as fertilizer (Ruhl, 2000). Water pollution stems from the fact that “generally accepted livestock waste management practices do not adequately or effectively protect water resources from contamination” (Burkholder et al., 2007, p. 308). Analyses of animal manure find potentially dangerous substances, such as bacteria, ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, disinfectants, cyanide, phosphorous, nitrates, heavy metals, drugs administered to animals, and other pathogens (Stathopoulos, 2010; Tietz, 2010). Some of these substances present in the waste may enter groundwater from manure storage facilities or from the fields on which high doses of manure have been applied (Gerber et al., 2005). Such occurrences pose a threat for drinking water quality. Even when manure is not contaminated, it is still high in nitrogen and phosphorous, and when these elements are added to water, it can cause eutrophication, killing fish and the animals that consume it (Fitzgerald, 2019).

Animal agriculture also takes up a lot of land—when the land used to produce animal feed is taken into consideration, animal agriculture is reported to use more than two thirds of agricultural land globally (Fitzgerald, 2019). As a result, it imperils biodiversity, as soil and water pollution can spread over to other areas in close vicinity to farms. This can affect the well-being of both plants and nonhuman animals. According to Wyatt (2014), intensive farming foments deforestation and loss of vegetation and has adverse effects on wildlife. Deforestation is a particularly acute problem in some regions, such as Latin America. For instance, Boekhout van Solinge (2010) investigates deforestation in Brazil linked to agricultural production, developing a discussion of global consumption patterns and their hidden harms and debating the conundrum of responsibility for harm in the context of globalization.

Yet, even locally, 150,000 miles of hedgerow have been lost in England since the introduction of agricultural subsidies (Harvey, 1997), and the declining trend continues (Countryside Survey, 2007). Moreover, habitats such as wetlands and mangrove swamps are directly impacted by water pollution, which may lead to biodiversity loss (Gerber et al., 2005). Biodiversity loss also occurs as a result of changing climate, and intensive farming exacerbates the challenge of climate change. Within criminological research, White and Yeates (2018) demonstrate the intersections between the dominant food production practices and climate change. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has estimated that animal farming is responsible for 18% of the total greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change (Steinfeld et al., 2006). It occurs primarily through production of methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide.

Last, a large water footprint is another negative characteristic of intensive farming (Ponette-Gonzalez & Fry, 2010; Ruhl, 2000). One quarter of the global freshwater resources relates to meat and dairy production. Water is essential at all stages of industrial farming: It is needed to produce animal feed, provide animals with drinking water, and meet other farming needs. Large amounts of fresh water are also used to dilute animal waste before it can be spread on fields as fertilizer. Cattle and pig farming are considered particularly water intensive (Compassion in World Farming, 2012) as they account for 33% and 19% of water used by farm animals, respectively (Fitzgerald, 2019).

Harms for the Society

Intensive farming also results in major transformations for society as local residents become concerned about environmental degradation in their area (Ladd & Edwards, 2002). These create concerns for environmental justice (Gladkova, 2020). Wilson et al. (2002) have demonstrated that the inequitable distribution of intensive pig farms in low-income and African American communities may have adverse environmental and health impacts associated with industrial farming. Public health concerns have been voiced as animal farming has been identified as “the single biggest cause of worst air pollution in Europe” (Harvey, 2016). As nitrogen compounds from animal waste mix with air, they form solid particles that can stick in the lung tissue. Communities in the vicinity of intensive farms are at greater risk of developing health complications (Fitzgerald, 2019). First, such communities are more likely to be disturbed by the odor emitted from intensive farms (pig ones in particular; Ponette-Gonzalez & Fry, 2010).

Second, it has been demonstrated that residents less than 2 km from intensive pig farms could be exposed to ammonia levels up to 40 times greater than average ammonia concentrations (Ponette-Gonzalez & Fry, 2010). This results in increased occurrences of headaches, runny nose, sore throat, excessive coughing, diarrhea, and burning eyes (Wing & Wolf, 2000) compared to communities with no intensive farms in their vicinity. Worsening air quality has been associated with respiratory diseases (Mirabelli et al., 2006) and other health consequences may include mood and sleep disorders (Donham et al., 2007). Moreover, if animal manure is stored in lagoons, the latter have high concentrations of zinc, which inhibits copper and iron absorption in humans and nonhuman animals. This can lead to anemia, liver damage, and kidney damage (Wyatt, 2014).

Furthermore, a brief look beyond the local reveals that intensive farming is not proving to be beneficial for the society overall. Intensive farming ruptures the social fabric of rural communities, making the link between production and consumption thinner. It undermines small-scale and organic farms, which provide 30% more jobs in the United Kingdom (Compassion in World Farming, 2012). For instance, Gray and Hinch (2015), while considering transformations of food industry by corporatization, touch upon agribusinesses’ negative effects on traditional farming.

Not only does industrialized meat production fail to provide safe, healthy food, but it also fails to provide decent employment as the increase in mechanization results in fewer jobs (Tudge, 2003). Along with it, the exploitation of the remaining manual laborers in industrialized meat production intensifies (Blanchette, 2020).

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the harmful nature of the global food production and consumption practices for society. Intensive farming in particular has been identified as the principal driver of zoonotic diseases (Jones et al., 2013), such as SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that caused COVID-19. The calls in favor of overhauling the global food system postpandemic, however, should remain sensitive toward the needs of small-scale producers in the Global South; as pointed out by Brozek and Falkenberg (2021), a global wildlife trade ban will only exacerbate food insecurity and compromise smallholders’ livelihoods.

Political Economic Implications

Intensive farming both constructs and is constructed by the global capitalist economy. It is one of the forces that makes up the global food economy, along with trade liberalization, the growing power of corporate actors, and processes of financialization. These forces have been described as the third food regime (Burch & Lawrence, 2009; McMichael, 2005). The concept of “food regime” refers to the manner of structuring the world food order (Carolan, 2012). The first food regime orbited around British imperialism, and the second was driven by the United States in its disposal of agricultural surplus.

McMichael (2005) argues that the third food regime is the corporate food regime. Its goals are emblematic of the broader “globalization project,” which refers to “an emerging vision of the world and its resources as a globally organised and managed free trade/free enterprise economy pursued by a largely unaccountable political and economic elite” (McMichael, 1996, p. 300). The third food regime is characterized by asymmetries and volatility (Clapp, 2012). The volatility lies in rapid price changes and the economy’s predilection for crisis. The asymmetry manifests itself in the growing discrepancy between the world’s poorest and richest countries, where poor countries have to rely on food imports and rich countries experience food surpluses. This growing divide creates a culture of dependency and is to the benefit of the rich industrialized countries responsible for the global promotion of agrifood industrialization in the first place (Clapp, 2012). The emergence of food surpluses in rich countries stems from the prioritization of production growth. Production growth has transformed the ethos and the economy of farming. Farming is framed as a business, and good farming becomes equated with cost reduction, high turnover, and profit maximization (Tudge, 2003). In the case of meat, its increased production guarantees constant turnover and profit, thus solving one of the most pressing problems of agriculture (Tudge, 2003).

Once the industrial mode was set as a benchmark for production, agribusinesses developed an interest in further profit maximization and intended to block any political incentives that impeded that (Ruhl, 2000). The agribusiness industry started consolidating more decision-making power (Tudge, 2003). It organized into focused lobby groups that governments were reluctant to challenge (Tanentzap et al., 2015). Additionally, the lobby groups rewarded governments for policies that did not hinder their activities (Tanentzap et al., 2015). Such trends can be described as neo-corporatism (Schmitter, 1974), meaning that interest groups not only help to formulate but are also involved in the implementation of public policies. Existing research demonstrates that monolithic power of agribusinesses is highly resistant to regulation (Croall, 2013) and that laws around food production have been manipulated to preserve the interests of agribusinesses (Boekhout van Solinge, 2010), echoing Michalowski’s (2012) concerns that a legal apparatus designed by the powerful cannot respond to harms committed by the powerful.

In parallel with that, a number of consumer, environmental, human rights, and animal welfare groups emerged in the late 1960s to draw public attention to the negative externalities associated with intensive farming and galvanize the public into action (Daugbjerg & Swinbank, 2012). They demanded stricter environmental regulations and challenged the control of the agribusiness lobby groups over policymaking. However, some authors describe environmental movements as diffuse (Tanentzap et al., 2015) and stress the fact that agribusiness lobbies have managed to compromise the efforts of environmental movements by highlighting the positive cultural and environmental impacts of farming (Daugbjerg & Swinbank, 2012).


A key objective of the chapter was to provide an overview of the existing food crime and harm research and key trends in it. Given the growing importance of green criminology in food research, this chapter adopted a green criminological perspective to illustrate the harms associated with industrial farming.

It is evident that the food crime research in criminology is growing, which mirrors the growing concern about the unsustainable nature of our food system. The food crime and harm studies currently explore both illegal and legal behaviors. While some perspectives reflect more traditional understandings of crime and also consider food crime through the lenses of corporate and state-corporate crimes, the growing importance of green criminology in food crime studies is also visible.

A green criminological perspective develops new understandings of food crime by exploring the impact of socially normalized practices and systemic harms rooted in the normal functioning of the capitalist food system. Industrial farming is an example of such a socially normalized practice, which, despite its legality, has detrimental effects for nonhuman animals, the environment, and communities living in that environment. Green criminology thus develops the conceptions of both ecological and species justice, recognizing that “the particular consideration that animal welfare and rights ought to be of relevance to eco-justice” (White & Heckenberg, 2014, p. 49).

Further criminological engagement with food crimes more broadly and specific cases of food production and consumption harms is therefore necessary to challenge the existing food system and offer tangible alternatives to it.

Further Reading

  • Blanchette, A. (2020). Porkopolis: American animality, standardized life, and the factory farm. Duke University Press.
  • Cheng, H. (2012). Cheap capitalism: A sociological study of food crime in China. The British Journal of Criminology, 52, 254–273.
  • Davies, J. (2020). Corporate harm and embedded labour exploitation in agri-food supply networks. European Journal of Criminology, 17(1), 70–85.
  • Davies, J., & Ollus, N. (2019). Labour exploitation as corporate crime and harm: Outsourcing responsibility in food production and cleaning services supply chains. Crime, Law and Social Change, 72(1), 87–106.
  • DeKeseredy, W., & Donnermeyer, J. (2013). Thinking critically about rural crime: Toward the development of a new left realist perspective. In S. Winlow & R Atkinson (Eds.), New directions in crime and deviancy (pp. 206–222). London: Routledge.
  • Fairlie, S. (2010). Meat: A benign extravagance. Permanent Publications.
  • Fitzgerald, A. (2015). Animals as food: (Re)connecting production, processing, consumption and impacts. Michigan State University Press.
  • Goyes, D. R. (2019). Southern green criminology: A science to end ecological discrimination. Emerald.
  • Gray, A., & Hinch, R. (2015). Agribusiness, governments and food crime: A critical perspective. In R. Sollund (Ed.), Green harms and crimes: Critical criminology in a changing world (pp. 97–116). St. Martin’s Press.
  • Gray, A., & Hinch, R. (2018). A handbook of food crime: Immoral and illegal practices in the food industry and what to do about them. Policy Press.
  • Gunderson, R. (2015). Meat and inequality: Environmental health consequences of livestock agribusiness. In J. Emel & H. Neo (Eds.), Political ecologies of meat (pp. 212–232). Routledge.
  • Imhoff, D. (2010). The CAFO reader: The tragedy of industrial animal factories. Foundation for Deep Ecology.
  • Lawrence, F. (2008). Eat your heart out: Why the food business is bad for the planet and your health. Penguin Books.
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  • Ruhl, J. B. (2000). Farms, their environmental harms, and environmental law. Ecology Law Quarterly, 27(2), 263–349.
  • Tourangeau, W. (2016). Criminology, food, and agriculture. In P. Thompson & D. Kaplan (Eds.), Encyclopedia of food and agricultural ethics (pp. 1–7). Springer.


  • Agnew, R. (1998). The causes of animal abuse: A social-psychological analysis. Theoretical Criminology, 2, 177–209.
  • Agnew, R. (2013). The ordinary acts that contribute to ecocide: A criminological analysis. In A. Brisman & N. South (Eds.), Routledge international handbook of green criminology (pp. 134–167). Routledge.
  • Beirne, P. (2007). Animal rights, animal abuse and green criminology. In P. Beirne & N. South (Eds.), Issues in green criminology: Confronting harms against environments, humanity and other animals (pp. 55–83). Willan.
  • Beirne, P. (2014). Theriocide: Naming animal killing. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 3(2), 49–66.
  • Blanchette, A. (2020). Porkopolis: American animality, standardized life, and the factory farm. Duke University Press.
  • Boekhout van Solinge, T. (2010). Deforestation crimes and conflicts in the Amazon. Critical Criminology, 18(4), 263–277.
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  • Cheng, H. (2012). Cheap capitalism: A sociological study of food crime in China. The British Journal of Criminology, 52, 254–73.
  • Clapp, J. (2012). Food. Polity Press.
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