By reading the preface, I figured that this book is of some interest to me. It is first because I like the complications between humans and animals, and I also liked to know more about the links, and figure out a much ethical way we treat these animals around us.
“[G]eography is central to both our everyday interactions with animals and to academic interest in understanding the variety of human-animal relationships around the world (p. 3).” As a student who have never taken any geography classes, this book really give me some good sense about geography. Different from what I thought – that geography is about learning only the landscapes and how they are formed (right now I think this is most likely discussed in a geology class), it is interrelated to many subject area which has historically focused on the relationships between the natural world and human society. In studying the geography, we will notice that the world is not only about human, but there are other creatures around, and their presence is crucial to our lives.
The author discussed the three main reasons to why animals and human-animal relations are an increasingly visible topic in geography today: the first being the sophisticated scientific understandings of how humans, through their economic production and consumption patterns, are contributing to environmental problems, and thereby our impact on other animal species specifically is becoming more pronounced. He claimed that there are too much livestocks human raised that would produce a negative effect on the climate, and humans even cutting down the rainforest to do this for their own economic benefits. Besides some of the ethical issues we have when dealing with animals, I felt that there are many other issues as well. And sometimes, I even think that even though we claim to be that the nature world and human activities both influenced the climate change, the change of the nature world would more likely to be influenced by human activities. And we take much more responsibilities in such global issue. A second reason for the increased scrutiny of the human-animal relationship comes from the social perspective. We have much more social roles that requires us to behave certain way, and we also have more obligations imposed on our society that forced us to behave certain way. Such impact coming from the human culture are difficult to avoid. The third reason, as the author claimed, is the politics of animal issues, from both a animal right and animal welfare perspective. This is what I mentioned above, the ethical issues we are dealing with in treating animals. The way in people’s different belief of treating animals varies, and this lead to a lot of political conflict. However, my point of view is, most likely to stay in the middle. We sort of needed animal products in our lives nowadays, but this can not allow us to treat the animals without any concerns. From my knowledge about wolves, they have concerns also for their preys that they know to not kill the whole species of them so they would have food, so sometimes they choose to eat other animals instead or even let their preys run away. We have the rights of eating or using animal products nowadays, but just like wolves, we should know that there are boundaries in the way we treat them, and it is not right to only focusing on our own benefits while have no concerns about them.
I found that the book have varies valuable insights about animals, and it is worth for people to know and talk about it.