Placing Animals Part 2

The second half of the book still focused on human and animal relationship but this time there was a shift towards domestication and wild animals. This section also brought up the labeling of animals and placing them into categories.  This placement goes back to early human life and how things like dogs and cats are shown much more affection than any other animal, also cows are elevated in religion.  Although these sometime shift the idea that some animals are given more worth than others still resonates in this section. Even though there are some cultural shifts the general categories remain the same.  People tend to deem “wild animals” as those that are dangerous and of no use to humans.   We have systematically chosen animals that will bend to our whims through the process of domestication.  All of these animals such as dogs, cats, and other small house pets are easier to tame than others that would be too large, or too dangerous to habituate and eventually domesticate.

Also in this section was the notion of humans separating ourselves from nature and the “wild” animals that reside in nature.  The biggest example of this for me are the zoos we have built.  These are places that people come to for a novel experience of seeing animals that don’t and can’t belong in daily life.  These animals are put on display so humans can view them, but there is a huge caveat that exists and that is in the form of a barrier both literally and figuratively separating the zoo patrons and the animals they wish to see but still remain perfectly distanced from.  As we continue to create barriers and bend the earth to our industrial will, animals a lot of the time suffer.  Urbanik brings this point up as well that because of our massive expansions it often times displaces animals from where they would naturally reside.  All of these shifts cause unnatural balances in the ecosystems that animals are removed and pushed into.


The pseudo conditions that animals are placed in works to create a “sterile” environment suitable for people that don’t wish to get down and dirty with how nature actually is but this is most likely at the detriment of the animal on display.

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