Shayla Scheitler: GEOG 360: Week 12

Reading: Placing Animals

I thought this was a very stimulating read and I foresee it as being a good book to discuss. For simplicity, I’ll be using ‘animals’ separate from ‘humans.’

  • The fact that ancient art included mostly animals, and if there were human portraits, they had animalistic features is puzzling. Singling nonhuman animals out in art, to me, suggests there’s a hierarchy, but combining animal features with humans suggests that humans and animals are parallel to one another in nature.
  • The discussion regarding animals being close enough to humans to test products on, but separate enough to eat them, was interesting. It brings up the point that humans wouldn’t be testing their products on something, like a plant, that doesn’t have recognizable/appropriate human features.
  • I liked the bit about the guinea pigs because to many, it’s weird to actually think about where guinea pigs came from and why we domesticated them. The fact that guinea pigs were once used as food and in medicine is perplexing. What’s even more bizarre is that mummified guinea pigs were found buried with humans. So many conflicted relationship values.
  • I really love the quote, “Human identities are created not in isolation, but in relation to other living beings and inanimate things.”
  • A weird concept I’ve never thought about before is that humans have different relationships with captive elephants, free-roaming wild elephants, and circus elephants. We’ve created our own social boundaries here with the same animal.
  • Humans are getting more pets than having children (I can understand that).
  • Humans have said they understand what their pet is feeling and can understand why they behave a certain way – humans and animals become “kept” by one another – they respond to each other.
  • Animals are used in marketing as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ I can see this in commercials where a pretty fluffy puppy dog is used for a toilet paper commercial while a Snickers bar is sold with the ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ quote coupled with a human transforming from an animal, like a shark, which is portrayed as bad in the sense that the commercial is dramatizing a scene of a shark destroying things and trying to eat people.
  • Something really shocking was that men are more concerned with spaying/neutering their pets, and Utah had a promotional thing with Hooters…wtf? Women as sexual objects to sell a service? Pretty typical.
  • Beastiality – if animals can’t consent to sex, they can’t consent to being killed for their resources!!!


Environmental News

6 ways we, as individuals, can help prevent climate change!

  1. Waste less food (e.g. buying produce that doesn’t look as pretty as the rest). Wasted and spoiled food emit methane.
  2. Eat less factory-farmed red meat. Factory farms feed cows grains, which cause them to release methane into the air through their gases. Adopting a plant-rich diet and eating meat from organic farms where animals are fed natural diets, reduces methane. It’s not even necessary to be vegetarian or vegan – just cut back.
  3. Consume less energy and water (switching to LED light bulbs, buying a low-flow shower head).
  4. Call and meet with your representatives (not on in the fence with this one).
  5. Open a dialogue and find common ground. Yes!! Having productive conversations instead of being passive aggressive helps much more than we give credit for.
  6. Volunteer (eh).

Project Updates

Made a bouquet of flowers out of trash! I think it’s cute.


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