Animal industrial complex

Animal industrial complex (AIC) is the accumulation of interests responsible for institutionalized exploitation of non-human animals. It entirely differs from individual acts of animal cruelty in that it is an institutionalized animal exploitation. It is one of the main topics of critical animal studies.


The term animal industrial complex was coined by the Dutch cultural anthropologist and philosopher Barbara Noske in her 1989 book Humans and Other Animals, saying that animals "have become reduced to mere appendages of computers and machines."[1] The term relates the practices, organizations, and overall industry that turns animals into food and other commodities to the military–industrial complex.[2] Richard Twine later refined the concept, regarding it as the "partly opaque and multiple set of networks and relationships between the corporate (agricultural) sector, governments, and public and private science. With economic, cultural, social and affective dimensions it encompasses an extensive range of practices, technologies, images, identities and markets."[3]