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Back to the future: Lessons from ethnoveterinary RD&E for studying and applying local knowledge

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  • Constance McCorkle

Abstract

Ethnoveterinary research, development, and extension (ERD&E) has emerged as a rich field for discovering, adapting, and transferring appropriate and sustainable animal health technologies to rural and peri-urban stockraisers, especially in Third World countries. This field is defined as the holistic, interdisciplinary study of local knowledge and practices, together with the social structure in which they are embedded, that pertain to the healthcare and healthful husbandry of animals used for a multitude of purposes. Especially in the Third World, livestock play a large number of important roles that are little understood or appreciated in today's First World. Study of these benefits and their role in Third World livelihoods offers numerous lessons that span not only the virtues but also some of the technical, ethical, and methodological challenges of working with local knowledge. ERD&E emerged as an internationally recognized branch of research in the mid-1970s largely in response to an increasing concern with animal health in the context of practical, field-level projects in animal agriculture. As many as 90% of the world's population continue to rely mainly on their own localized ethnomedicine for the bulk of their personal healthcare as well as their veterinary needs. With the escalating costs of Western healthcare technologies, it is essential to build upon this local knowledge. Of course, ethnoscience is not perfect, and recognition of the immense value of ERD&E does not imply that conventional science is to be abandoned. Rather each has much to learn from the other. Making knowledge by judiciously drawing upon insider and outsider, site-specific and universalistic, and both old and new understandings can take us back to a brighter development future. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Suggested Citation

  • Constance McCorkle, 1995. "Back to the future: Lessons from ethnoveterinary RD&E for studying and applying local knowledge," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 12(2), pages 52-80, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:12:y:1995:i:2:p:52-80
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02217297
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. N/A, 1985. "Research in Progress," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(3), pages 475-487, April.
    2. David K. Leonard, 1993. "Structural Reform of the Veterinary Profession in Africa and the New Institutional Economics," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 24(2), pages 227-267, April.
    3. Lori Thrupp, 1989. "Legitimizing local knowledge: From displacement to empowerment for third world people," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 6(3), pages 13-24, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Figuié, M. & Desvaux, S., 2011. "Les éleveurs dans la gestion des menaces sanitaires globales : les éleveurs vietnamiens et la grippe aviaire," Working Papers MoISA 201102, UMR MoISA : Montpellier Interdisciplinary center on Sustainable Agri-food systems (social and nutritional sciences): CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRAE, L'Institut Agro, Montpellier SupAgro, IRD - Montpellier, France.
    2. Jaime, Glória & Hobeika, Alexandre & Figuié, Muriel, 2020. "Access to Veterinary Medicines in sub-saharan Africa," AfricArxiv 8vcj2, Center for Open Science.
    3. Constance McCorkle & Edward Green, 1998. "Intersectoral healthcare delivery," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 15(2), pages 105-114, June.
    4. Constance McCorkle & Marina Martin, 1998. "Parallels and potentials in animal and human ethnomedical technique," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 15(2), pages 139-144, June.

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