Körperregime Schlachthof – Tierschlachtung und Tierbäder im Wien des 19. Jahrhunderts

Nieradzik, Lukasz

This paper explores the nexus of slaughtering animals and healing humans in Viennese slaughterhouses in the second half of the nineteenth century. The concentration of animal slaughtering at the urban periphery and the invention of so-called “animal baths” by physician Sigismund Eckstein in 1859, who tried to establish a new method of treatment using the blood and offal of freshly slaughtered cattle, strengthened a specific historical body regime. This accelerated the conception of animals as organic resources for medical needs and meat supply, and intensified the asymmetry of human-animal relationships. The paper explores the nexus of butchering practices, the ongoing scientification of medical perspectives, and the invention of animal baths. It focusses on knowledge about animal bodies from the perspective of craftsmen and physicians. The slaughterhouse is conceptualized as an epistemological catalyst for the economically and medically structured objectification of animals. These developments were part of a process of rationalization of butchering and urban meat supply. In this context, not only the ways of dealing with but also the attitudes towards livestock significantly changed. People lost their faith in the metaphysical potency of “animal factors” and their health-promoting effects. The appropriation of a new medical knowledge about animal physiology not only transformed livestock into raw materials, it also gave rise to new fears concerning health and disease, and unsettled human beliefs about physical wellbeing.


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Nieradzik, Lukasz: Körperregime Schlachthof – Tierschlachtung und Tierbäder im Wien des 19. Jahrhunderts. 2016.

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