Placing Animals Review

For the first half of the book, I thought it was interesting to say the least. It was good content, but the reading was somewhat boring. The book was designed for students, and the book is for sure designed to be that way. It provided great graphs as well as great references from past scientists. I learned a lot about animal geography as well as the relationship we have with certain animals. I found many interesting points that strike me.

  • The first thing was the 3 key points about human animal relations (7)
    • The boundary between human and animals is not consistent- There is no certain separation from the two. Like how people don’t characterize fish as meat, but some do. I liked the author’s comment on Disney movies, and how the animals are related to people. It was like one of the past books we read this year.
    • Animals are much more than simply background to human lives only to be acknowledged intermittently- We evolved into modern humans because of our ability to adapt and hunt other species as well as domesticate
    • Who and where you are as a human in the world shapes the type of interaction you will have with different species- If I lived on a farm, I would have a relationship with different animals than living in the suburbs of Cincinnati. A good example the author had was dogs being pets or being in cages for human consumption.
  • The legal definitions of animals (7)- This was interesting to me. It’s crazy how many states have different definitions. Some states consider fish or reptiles and some don’t. Some don’t consider humans and some do. It’s interesting because there’s no consistency with the definition. Everyone thinks of animals differently.
  • The author makes an important point. She emphasizes that we have to highlight the emotional connection humans have with other species is just as important as highlighting the economic, political, or intellectual relations. People do not think about the bond we have with animals, and do not see this as important.
  • The top 5 countries with the most classified mammal species (22)- This was surprising to me. The top 5 countries were Indonesia, Brazil, China, Mexico, and Peru. I was surprise to not see the U.S, Russia, and Australia. I understand Brazil because of the Amazon Rain Forest, and China because of its large land mass, but Australia has some of the most deadly animals.
  • Cats and Cows being important animals (24)- The author talks about in Ancient Egypt, cats and cows were sacred animals, and were seen as powerful, strong, and courageous. Another example that relates to this is the relationship cows have in India (56). Killing a cow in India is like killing a human, but for Americas, we eat cows daily.
  • When discussing the 2nd wave of Animal Geography, the author talks about how Zoology and Biology became more important in the 20th century. Growing up, these two sciences were known, and a norm for studying science. To think, a 100 years ago, we didn’t have much information on these sciences. It goes to show how little we knew of animals to today to where we know a lot more.
  • Dogfighting (49)- The author talks about the Michael Vick incident and the pitbulls. Many people today do not want to be around these dogs, but they are actually sweet animals. The reasons they are perceived is because they are strong animals, and when not trained properly, they cause problems. My friend has two pitbulls and they’re the nicest dogs I’ve ever met (I have bad relations with dogs).

Overall, It was an interesting book. It will be good to read the next half of the book for next week, and I kind of like it. Also, since we’re talking about cats, here’s a picture of one of mine.


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