Placing Animals

I think that Tuan’s concept of dominance and affection is extremely valid when it comes to animal-human relationships within the home. We control every aspect of their lives including who we want them to be at birth through adjusting temperament and phenotypes through breeding. Also, it would be socially unacceptable to own a dog that does not listen to commands and the idea of this makes people feel very uncomfortable or unsafe. But this problem only occurs for pets that possess the strength to do harm if not controlled such as dogs and horses. Maybe it is just within our natural instinct to want to control the non-human world but I think that these desires are passively portrayed through society. This may be a naïve statement, but I believe that the majority of pet owners do love and care for their animals as if they are equals within the family dynamic. Pets are also a great way to recognize the individuality of a non-human species, bring a piece of nature into people’s daily urban lifestyles. Overall, I agree with Tuan’s concept of humans asserting dominance upon their animals but I think many of these dominant relationships can resemble that of a parents wanting their child to do as they with the idea it will maintain a functioning household.

With many respects to economic geography Nast has performed ‘critical pet studies’. She claims that part of pet animal’s allure is that they can become whatever you want them to become. I generally disagree with this statement because I do not think that is a cause for getting a pet but actually an afterthought. To dress a pet according to ‘their’ personality (which is really a reflection of the owner’s) is something people become consumers that shop for ourselves to show our originality and taste. But I do agree that pets are a modern replacement for child in many homes. Nast also claims that this is the reason why people don’t have the time or money to devote to global issues such as inequalities and violence. These two idea don’t entirely coincide because people typically own pets to avoid constraints on potential lifestyle changes. I think this would mean that they actually have opportunities to take part in liberating and meaningful activities and can support with the money that would otherwise be focused on raising a child. Nest stated that people with pets incidentally love people less and can be correlated to to the increased crime rates. She gives no further evidence of this discussion and because they are both occurring more does not mean that one is the cause of the other.

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One Response to Placing Animals

  1. […] 11: Urbanik, Placing Animals (first half) – […]

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