Marie Leth-Espensen

Marie Leth-Espensen is a sociologist and Ph.D. candidate at the Sociology of Law Department at Lund University. Marie is a collective member of Lund University Critical Animal Studies Network, and in this capacity, she co-coordinates and teaches an introductory course in Critical Animal Studies. She was part of the organizing committee of the 5th International Conference of the European Association for Critical Animal Studies.

Challenging Law’s Violent Regimes of Care: Sanctuary-Making in Rural Denmark

Over the past decades, Farmed Animal Sanctuaries (FAS) have emerged globally to become a significant part of the broader animal movement. While FASes importantly expand the imagination of multispecies life beyond agricultural control and management, they are also confronted with the difficult task of providing life-long care for animals bred for profit within a normative regime intended on industrial production. Based on fieldwork performed at multiple farmed animal sanctuaries in rural Denmark, this contribution delves into the embodied, situated, and multispecies care unfolding within the sanctuary context. The paper particularly examines critical barriers for sanctuary-caregiving in view of the hegemonic practices of care embedded in intensive farming settings. In centering the role of animal welfare regulations and law enforcement, this paper highlights the social, political, and economic contexts defining how care manifests in everyday multispecies life and raises pressing but complicated questions about more-than-human flourishing in a time of anthropogenic problems.