Placing Animals Review

Why animal geography is relevant today: (p.4-5)

-The understanding of how humans, through their economic production and consumption patterns, are contributing to to environmental problems, and thereby our impact on other animal species specifically is becoming more pronounced.

-Changes in our understanding of how human society works have been taking place over the last several decades. Advances in social theories have lead to a critique of the modernist view of the world.

-The politics of animal issues

Animal Definitions Vary:

  • some exclude humans
  • some exclude groups of animals like livestock and fish
  • China: “Any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, and any other vertebrate or invertebrate wild or tame”
  • Zimbabwe: “Any kind of domestic vertebrate animal, any kind of wild vertebrate animal in captivity.”

*”Many animals are excluded from legal definitions so that they can be excluded from legal definitions so that they can be excluded from animal welfare laws to help locally based animal-related industries like fishing or animal research.” (p.6)

-Michael Vick & Travis the Monkey examples (p.49)

  • The place of animals in our homes
  • Questions of place, identity, ethics and politics
  • What constitutes as a pet?
  • The role of power in pet keeping
  • “Cruelty is deeply embedded in human nature. Our relation to pets, with all of its surface play of love and devotion, is incorrectly perceived unless this harsh fact is is recognized.”
  • terrible beasts, unknown, uncontrollable forces of nature/ beauty, power, divine, spiritual
  • “Pet-keeping does this by manipulating the reproductive processes of animals in order to mold them into “creatures of a shape of habit that please their owners.”” A new perspective that I had never considered before
  • Dog and goldfish breeding is directly related to this: This kind of breeding can harm the animals (breathing issues for short-snouted dogs, sterility/difficulty reproducing on their own, hip dysplasia, eye problems, cancers, etc.)
  • “This must be considered the most brutal kind of domination.”
  • Spay/neuter, crop tails and ears, declaw, etc.

Zoos: (p.78)

-This is a chapter that I knew I was going to be extremely interested in due to my area of study and the career path that I have chosen.

  • Zoos started as a place for collectors to develop classification systems and gather information about the animals. The main purpose was to provide a way to see and study different species.
  • The original zoos did not care about the lives that the animals lived while in captivity
  • Today, they have evolved to be a place of education/educational entertainment (for the public, veterinarians, biologists). Animals are kept in cages but the goal is to get people to learn about the species living in the world and the problems they face.
  • geographers have focused on zoos as spaces that denote the separation of humans and animals as well as on the dimensions that these specific zoo sites reveal about human experiences of the animal other.
  • Zoo modernism
  • electronic zoos Vs. traditional zoos
  • Lab mouse Vs. endangered mouse, pet mouse Vs. pest mouse
  • “Zoo animals are also research tools because zookeepers use captive animals to solve problems about animal health, learn about animal behaviors, and practice breeding programs that can be used for conservation purposes.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: