We invite papers that consider how forms of human and animal life shape, and are shaped by, veterinary care and other animal-healing practices. With the understanding that care is an ongoing process of negotiation, we ask how health care is negotiated across species lines.
This panel speaks to a rapidly emerging field: the anthropology of veterinary medicine and animal health. Veterinary medicine has, so far, been largely overlooked by anthropologists - this despite anthropology's contribution to the study of human health and healing, and its recent attention to life 'beyond the human' and the notion of 'One Health.' In practice, animal healthcare takes many forms. Vets care for a variety of species, many of them selectively bred to extremes in the name of productivity or in pursuit of an idealised aesthetic. Without an easily standardised model of health, what counts as normal or pathological when it comes to different forms of animal life? How do vets and their clients approach varied and context-specific understandings of animal health? We also know that animal healthcare is not limited to biomedicalised veterinary approaches, nor is veterinary medicine a homogeneous practice. What does veterinary care look like in different settings, and how do biomedical approaches to animal health co-exist with other practices of animal health and healing? In this panel, we hope to further anthropological discussion about the engagements between vets, animals, and animal-owners or spokes-people. We invite papers that consider how human and animal lives, concerns, and desires shape practices of veterinary care, and, in turn, how the lived worlds of humans and animals are shaped by veterinary care and other animal-healing practices. With the understanding that care is an ongoing process of negotiation, we ask how health care is negotiated across species lines.