Title: US feedlots and slaughterhouses: bounding industrial ecology with the extreme case

Authors: Van V. Miller

Addresses: College of Business, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859, USA

Abstract: The potential contribution of Industrial Ecology (IE) to sustainable development, though immense, remains elusive. This is due to the field boundaries whose demarcation lacks specificity. To address the challenge of boundary definition, an agro-industrial complex, the US Cattle Feedlot-Slaughterhouse System (CFSS), has been chosen to illustrate and provoke a discussion about where those boundaries should be set. The selection of the CFSS, a system opposed to the practices usually associated with IE, is justified in the light of the extreme events research methodology. On this basis, the author highlights the many agro-industrial flows among the main CFSS components and then analyses them in terms of their appropriateness for specifying the boundaries of IE.

Keywords: industrial ecology; industrial symbiosis; confined feeding operations; animal feeding operations; Ogallalah Aquifer; sustainable development; sustainability; extreme events; research methodology; feed lots; slaughterhouses; USA; United States; agro-industrial flows.

DOI: 10.1504/PIE.2008.023410

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, 2008 Vol.5 No.5/6, pp.448 - 464

Published online: 22 Feb 2009 *

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