“Healthy animals means healthy humans” (125) – Urbanik
This book forced me to think about the human-animal relationship. Now looking back I realized the complexity of the relationship because humans have put themselves as superior in some instances and not others. We remove ourselves from animals and the situations they thrive in, but then we consider our pets as part of the family. But most people would never consider them in the same realm as farm animals or feral animals.
Where does the separation between animals and humans come in to play? We actually do the separating, but without their consent because none of us are Dr.Doolittle. Humans are animals and also have complex social interactions, survival skills, communication, cultures, families, and learning capabilities. Just because animals don’t communicate nor do the same actions as we do, should they be considered any less? What should be realized is that the relationship and view between animals and humans is varying depending on culture and geography.
The second half started talking about the geographies of animal parts and about the first animal welfare legislation at the turn of the 19th century in England, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It also covered a lot of what was already talked about in previous books such as farming and how it has changed that was covered in eating animals. The interactions of farmworkers and farm animals were talked about and how farmers felt like the only power that they had was over the animals and the powerlessness over human that they were feeling resulted in violence towards the animals.
The last chapter was dedicated to talking about the changing definition of ‘wild’ and the way that humans tend to romanticize certain animals or ecosystems more than others. This is probably one of my favorite topics of the entire course.