Animal Labor and Colonial Warfare

Animal Labor and Colonial Warfare

James L. Hevia

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780226562148

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Animal Labor and Colonial Warfare examines the use of camels, mules, and donkeys in British colonial campaigns of conquest and pacification, starting with the Second Afghan War and ending in the early 1900s. Hevia explains how during past centuries a new set of human-animal relations were created as European powers and the United States expanded their colonial possessions and attempted to put local economies and ecologies in the service of resource extraction. The results had major impacts on animal and human communities alike, disrupting centuries-old ecological and economic relationships. And those effects were lasting: Hevia shows how a number of the key issues faced by the postcolonial nation-state of Pakistan—such as shortages of clean water for agriculture, humans, and animals, and limited resources for dealing with infectious diseases—can be directly traced to decisions made in the colonial past.