The Herds Shot Round the World: Four Breeds and the British Empire, 1820-1900


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


History; Anthropology; and Science, Technology, and Society


This project explores the global diffusion of British livestock in the late nineteenth century. As pastures were cleared and stock fattened, imperial landscapes and livestock were refashioned to suit the tastes of British consumers. In Britain and abroad, breeders balanced standardizing their stock for modern mass production with maintaining the distinctiveness of their animals. The outcome was the establishment of an economic, technological, and cultural complex for circulating livestock and dead meat—a juggernaut of imperial production that reshaped the cultural and economic interactions of distant locales, their landscapes and, ultimately, the character of Britain and its colonies. The same system, divested of its imperial trappings and disseminated still further, brings meat to tables today.