I found Placing Animals by Julie Urbanik to be very engaging and relatable. Specifically when she discusses the domestication of wild animals. Because people always fantasize about how cool it would be to have a pet monkey or lion. But in actuality it is very selfish to domesticate these animals unless they are disabled or are endangered of being killed by hunters. At some point the animal’s true instincts will develop and the living conditions will not be suitable for the lifestyle they desire to lead. If they are let out into the wild they will be at a disadvantage because they have been domesticated for their earliest years. An example she brought up is when she asked people if they would have a possum as a pet and some said they would.The author also mentioned that there are more tiger’s in United States zoo’s than out in the wild today.That is because people have an infatuation with looking at exotic animals and wearing them. With the high demand for exclusive clothing and furniture, poacher’s have begun to litter south east Asia and Africa. Lions and tigers are being killed at a rapid pace for their fur.
Another part found fascinating was when Urbanik distinguished between what makes an animal “wild” and “not wild”. Wild animals are the ones seen as extremely dangerous to humans. This would include lions, tigers, alligators etc. Individually humans cannot control these animals. Not wild animals would include cats and dogs. This section also discussed the importance of animals and Pets. An example of an important animal is a dog, because they can be domesticated and they are considered man’s best friend. An example of their usefulness is guide dogs for blind and old people. Personally I consider chickens, turkeys, fish and etc more important because we eat them on a daily basis. But there will be many people who disagree with me, specifically vegetarians. Urbanik also discusses how humans and animals should interact. But these ideal interactions she speaks of are nearly impossible, especially with hunting being legal in America. The last topic Urbanik talks about is farms, specifically how it has become common to have cows as the main staple of farms. Why has it become socially acceptable to milk and breed cows? I think its because we have become accustomed to eating cow meat and drinking milk. But why haven’t we developed lion and tiger farms for them to reproduce? This is because these animals do not have a product that is specifically useful for humans. Overall I enjoyed reading placing animals and respect Urbanik’s unique views on wild/ not wild animals, animal-human interactions and the importance of certain animals.