Fools Gold on the Prairies
Ontologies, Farmers and their Seeds
The "ontological turn" in anthropology is linked to the insight that environmental thinking requires reflecting on conflicting ways of "being and becoming in the world". This article explores how large-scale industrial farmers engage with the world, their ontic relationship with seeds, their direct reconnection to reality and sensorial perception of the non-human. However, seeds not only become what they are in multifarious networks of natural, cultural and political agencies, but their emergence and co-evolution with humans is ruptured through deregistration, persecution, confiscation and destruction. Proprietary industrial seed varieties carry instrumental rationality and control into the fields of Canadian farmers that are hard to resist.
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