Placing Animals

Focus: “animal geography” to understand the human animal relationships

  • Vegetarians were called pythagoreans in ancient Greece
  • Geography effects cultural boundaries–the differing relationships between what we hunt, domesticate, or allow to roam free depends on our geographic location.
  • Human/animal relations are intersectional, including factors of biology, culture, economics, ethics, geography, and politics.
  • “How we treat nonhuman others is fundamentally rooted in the places which we fundamentally can, or cannot, interact.”
  • there is no universal definition of animal
    • many are excluded for the benefit of local economy (so they can be excluded from animal welfare)
    • there are more tigers in captivity than in the wild today 😦
    • CAFOs=confined animal feeding operations
    • animals must be restored into intellectual thought
    • CAS=critical animal studies
    • HAS=human-animal studies
    • 2nd wave of animal geography surfaces in the 1970s
    • expansive geography of US centers around the keeping of animals (cultural phenomenon)
    • 3rd wave = symbolic place of animals in human culture
    • The study of “when, how, where, and why nonhuman animals intersect with society”
    • consider academic filters and the racial/class distinctions within this
    • “We need to develop place sensitive evaluations of moral problems”
    • keeping a pet is an extension of controlling the nonhuman world
    • over breeding is a sort of cruel form of domination
    • Pets are “hybrid beings” somewhere in between nature and culture
    • animals used in advertising to emphasize stereotypical traits and concepts of “good” and “bad” animals
    • “Our love of all things animal ends up being good for capitalism as well”
    • pets obtaining domestic settings (house, cemeteries, parks, )
    • Labor/celebrity animals: actors, military roles, police dogs, research subjects, racing, circus, performers, fighters
    • Service: draft animals, herding, hunting, assistance, therapy
    • First zoo: 3500BCE
    • Zoos were popular tools for colonization
    • Products of animal cloning research:xenograftplatform
      • production of biomedical engineer (for organ transplantation)
      • pharming: the process of genetically modifying plants and animals so that they produce substances that may be used as pharmaceuticals.
      • increasing agricultural output
      • cultural: preserving pets or extinct animals
    • Types of therapy animals:
      • volunteer run AAA (animal assisted activities)
      • AAT (animal assisted therapy)
        • Do not interact with service animals when they are working!!!
    • Loss of individuality + concepts of sacrifice2006_03_art6_1
    • Oncomouse = first genetically patented multicellular organism
    • Oncomouse was developed to develop cancer for research study purposes
    • What are the boundaries of genetic mutation regarding humans? Are brain and embryonic cells the limit?
    • Concept of “humanness” as a moral boundary
    • Modern farm enclosures have “solidified corporate control over the livestock industry thereby changing the structure of livestock rearing from one of local control to a more fully integrated and homogenized system.”
    • More meat is consumed as peoples’ incomes rise
    • 50 Billion land animals being produced for consumption yearly: 10 billion consumed in the US
    • Idea of livestock agriculture as “the turning point that launched humanity on its diverse ‘civilizing’ path”
    • Europeans saw Aborigines as borderline between nature and man because they did not cultivate plants or animals
    • Hobby farming = example of how friends and food can be mutually inclusive
    • farming creates a connective experience of place and history; identity
    • animals are so intertwined with human experience we must ethically recognize that ignoring animals is a socialized choice.
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