Placing Animals Pt. 1 & 2

Placing Pnimals by Julie Urbanik

Chapter 4 Beasts of Burden

Educational Animals

  • Zoo’s: Can date back to 3500 BCE in Egypt near royalty, but the first modern zoos began in Vienna and Paris in the 1700’s.  Was a way for scientists and people to classify animals around the world.  Animals were given as gifts to royals.  Animals used for research purposes. Vivisection (live cutting). Animal dissection helped physicians understand circulatory systems and other mammalian functions.  Animal research today includes: testing for chemical toxicity, cosmetics, and drugs. Mice are the most use

Entertainment Animals

  • Animals used for entertainment can be traced back to ancient civilizations, roots in Roman empire, Greece, Egypt, and China. Circus acts in the 1700’s, Dog fighting, Celebrity Animals getting paid.

Service Animals

  • Military and Law enforcement, search and rescue, seeing eye dogs, therapy animals

“zoos inevitably disappoint.  The excitement of the wild is replaced by alienation, lethargy, isolation, incarceration, and boredom…”

Electronic zoos replacing the traditional zoo. Videos and pictures can get the job done but it takes out the interaction between human and animals.  But it would ultimately be better for the animals.

Social Construct of animal geography

  • A mouse in a lab is different than a wild mouse, different than a pet mouse, different than a pest mouse.
  • Pets can’t be treated with cruelty but the same mouse in a lab can? Only for research to solve problems for human health
  • No sense of individuality: Zoo and Lab animals are bred specifically for zoos and labs. Lab animals are bred so that they are exactly like all the others.  Zoo animals often times aren’t named.
  • Sacrificing animals for the common good of humans (research and education)
  • Animals are a human commodity: zoos are businesses

Ethical Geographies

  • Humans having patent ownership over genetically modified animals except for human-chimpanzee b/c its part human
  • Use of animals in higher education: Student Choice Policy

Chapter 5 Down on the Farm

Lion-meat tacos? Raising and selling lions for meat is legal under FDA regulations b/c they aren’t classified as endangered and they are raised in captivity.

Iowa tried to pass legislation making it illegal to take and distribute photos or videos of agricultural facilities.  The legislation failed, but agro companies are so worried about their perception and image.  People don’t want to eat animals that have been abused and tortured.

4 main methods of producing food animals

  • Nomadic Pastoralism: moving across landscape with the animals in search for grazing and water
  • Sedentary: people and animals stay in one place
  • Subsistence: raising animals for food for oneself and family
  • Industrial: economies of scale

Industrial farming is not just for land animals, aquaculture recent arrival

Tigers and Bears are farmed in China


  • Relationships with animals have been part of human since begging.  Animals like cows, pigs, and chickens are easy for humans to control and have been domesticated longer.

Chapter 6 Into the Wild

Wildlife Conservation

  • Historically hunting was the main cause of wild life population decreases, but now deforestation is occurring and moving animals out of their habitats.
  • 7 billion humans and their 50 billion livestock are putting extreme pressure on wildlife
  • Extinction rates are increasing one hundred to one thousand times normal rates says the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
  • 25 percent of mammal species and 44 percent of amphibians are threatened

Historical Geographies

  • Wildlife meant different things to different people
  • Animal geographies have been altered by humans for centuries, Native Americans: Europeans; Crows:Ravens
  • Wolf slaughter: white men justified killing wolves because they did not hunt properly, but hunted in packs. Men hunting the wolves used dynamite and poison. Masculine colonial mid-set
  • Taxidermy was a visual medium that presents animals as “wild” even if the animal was non-confrontational

Economic Geographies

  • Large amount of US citizens participate in wildlife activities in recreation and tourism: 30m fish, 12 m hunt, 71 m participate in wildlife watching/feeding
  • Exotic animal smuggling.  Snakes, tigers, bear cubs, leopards in luggage

Cultural Landscape

  • Wildlife entering homes. Homes are supposed to be a safe-zone or barrier from the wilderness but wild animals can thrive in urban areas
  • Japanese taking wild salmon back to urban rivers, free formed landscaping brings nature back.
  • Roadkill
  • Ecotourism: gorilla tourism in Uganda, gorillas are becoming more used to humans and are moving into communities to raid crops

Chapter 7 Conclusion

4 social changes contributing to the third wave  of animal geography: understanding how humans are impacting the natural world, rise of animal-related movements, postmodern/posthuman framework, increasing public love for nonhumans.

The role of “place” in animal geography

Animal geography in the future: focusing on cultural attitudes toward animals, mapping specific practices: human-animal interactions, commodity chains, wildlife sanctuaries.

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