Week 11: Placing animals

In placing animals, Julie Urbanik introduces her book with why animals and human animal relations are a growing topic today. She mentions three main reasons. One being human contribution to environmental problems and in turn effect animals. I don’t think this is new news to anyone. It seems to be a normal thing to hear on the news about recent beached…whales.. or hundreds of fish dying out of nowhere, or massive populations of other marine life dying or washing up dead on shore. This isn’t anything out of the ordinary. And that’s the sad thing. The number one drive in increasing green house gas emissions is from factory farms and cattle/meat ranches. Urbanik says there are about fifty billion livestock animals on the planet per year and that the methane gas from the cattle alone impacts our atmosphere in a such a negative way. Not to mention all the waste that turns into runoff and goes into local rivers and huge water sources! Another one of her points is the increased look at human-animal relationships in the social, rather than science aspect. The important thing to remember here is to figure out where people draw the line for the definition animal. I know I have mentioned that a lot, but it’s true! There are multiple definitions for the word “evolution” and sometimes in different fields they refer it to different components. It amazed me of how many legal definitions of “animal” were in the United States alone. From the definitions provided in the book you can kind of notice the correlation between the geography of the states and what animals are considered animals. Most of the time fish are left out of definitions (like Delaware), or insects are excluded in New Mexico. Who comes up with these? Do we vote on them? I found an article that discusses if animals have human rights or not. http://www.debate.org/opinions/do-non-human-animals-have-rights. Somebody said “Animals have no rights, until they say so. Until animals enunciate their rights, they have none.” There were also lots of comments how God gave humans the right to dominate. Interesting in my opinion.The last reason has to do with politics of animal issues and the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Here they are talking about animals having rights (funny that I thought about that before it came up here). I think there is a blurred line. I agree that animals should have some sort of respect given, but I’m not on any radical side regarding the matter.

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