Geography and the Animals

170317-snow-leopard-russia-cr-0837_01_e34936cb2020d488754450c9f72be4d6.nbcnews-ux-600-480.jpgPlacing Animals

Current Event:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/russian-conservationists-launch-survey-elusive-snow-leopard-n734806

There is work being done (mostly data collection) to preserve the endangered snow leopards in Russia. Even though most the efforts are focused on gathering data on habitats, number of leopards, and hunting habits these snow leopards have it is hopeful step in the right direction for the protection and the eradication of more snow leopards and their habitats.

In the first chapter, I thought it was intriguing that the Enlightenment and/or Scientific Revolution has been repeatedly correlated to a shift in thinking in relation to other lives and our own (human) in some texts we have read this semester. For me, the Industrial Revolution significantly changed our planet’s environment for the worse and the Enlightenment ruined our perception of humans and animals. Where human thought was put at the top of all other living organisms. Don’t get me wrong, I am an English Romantic literature nerd of that time, but I have to agree that people’s perceptions changed about how to perceive animals. Granted, one could argue that humans have always related animals as inferior beings, but I think the Enlightenment gave validation to those thoughts and actions. In a more general sense, the Enlighten allowed humans to have a more individualized outlook on one’s actions and a less of concern of the action one has collectively to others or the planet itself. I think our understanding of ourselves and the human race can be helped through the cars and nurturing acts we display toward animals. But too often humans abuse and neglect of the helpless in this relationship wins. I think this notion of separation of humans from animals is changing and moving toward a more inclusive and preserving idea that animals are like us and need our protection not our exploitation. There are way more animal activists in this new millennium than I think there has ever been in human history. (I do not know if that is actually true, but it seems inarguable from what I know). There is more focus on experience with animals than experimenting on them. So, I think Peter Singer would be proud.

I know I am rambling a bit on this blog post, but that is because I am firm believer that humans can live with animals, but the continuation of massive exploitation and use of animals (especially in the USA) needs to cease to exist, because it is wrong and is degrading the richness and health of the planet and environment. Just like what Julie Urbana mentioned from page one was to look around and realize just how many animals around you. Your purse, your photos, and your food for example. That really made me think. I am a person who goes out of there way to not buy products that are made from or tested on animals, because I try to live by example. I think if people were more conscious about their contradictions in life, we could make some positive change. I just want all the “animal lovers” to actually evaluate their choices, especially consumer choices. Chances are, the choices do not align with the claimed “love”.

Another interesting theme of this book was the whole idea of how geography relates to the treatment of animals over others in certain spaces and places. Like what is considered and pest and and pet. Why do certain places have that distinction? To me, all animals have intrinsic value and should be treated as so.( Creds to Tom Regan.) I think the domestication of dogs is fickle and strange. It is strange (hinting on the discussion had last week) that Americans and European settlers’ hated wolves, but domesticated them. So, it seems strange that we domesticated a hated animal many humans had toward for a long time. This example might just show that the relation between animals and humans is ever changing through history. That throughout history, animals have always had a certain “place” in society. This “place” depends on region of the world and through time the animals in a certain “place” change.

The idea of space and the way ideas and societal notions flow through a space has always intrigued me. This book could be incorporated into one of the class at OWU, Economic Geography. Even though that class focuses on capitalist ideals and the historical capitalist flows I think similar notions could work in the context between humans and animals. Like I was saying earlier, “practice what you preach” could be a way to connect consumerism and the implications that are assumed in a society and how certain buying habits translate to one’s social environment and what means for the future of animal and human’s relationship.
Just a thought.

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