Considering that much of human society is structured through its interaction with non-human animals, and since human society relies heavily on the exploitation of animals to serve human needs, human–animal studies has become a rapidly expanding field of research, featuring a number of distinct positions, perspectives, and theories that require nuanced explanation and contextualization. The first book to provide a full overview of human–animal studies, this volume focuses on the conceptual construction of animals in American culture and the way in which it reinforces and perpetuates hierarchical human relationships rooted in racism, sexism, and class privilege. Margo DeMello considers interactions between humans and animals within the family, the law, the religious and political system, and other major social institutions, and she unpacks the different identities humans fashion for themselves and for others through animals. Essays also cover speciesism and evolutionary continuities; the role and preservation of animals in the wild; the debate over zoos and the use of animals in sports; domestication; agricultural practices such as factory farming; vivisection; animal cruelty; animal activism; the representation of animals in literature and film; and animal ethics. Sidebars highlight contemporary controversies and issues, with recommendations for additional reading, educational films, and related websites. DeMello concludes with an analysis of major philosophical positions on human social policy and the future of human–animal relations.
For most people, animals are the most significant aspects of the nonhuman world. They symbolize nature in our imaginations, in popular media and culture, and in campaigns to preserve wilderness, yet scholars habitually treat animals and the environment as mutually exclusive objects of concern. Conducting the first examination of animals' place in popular and scholarly thinking about nature, Anna L. Peterson builds a nature ethic that conceives of nonhuman animals as active subjects who are simultaneously parts of both nature and human society. Peterson explores the tensions between humans and animals, nature and culture, animals and nature, and domesticity and wildness. She uses our intimate connections with companion animals to examine nature more broadly. Companion animals are liminal creatures straddling the boundary between human society and wilderness, revealing much about the mutually constitutive relationships binding humans and nature together. Through her paradigm-shifting reflections, Peterson disrupts the artificial boundaries between two seemingly distinct categories, underscoring their fluid and continuous character.
The field of environmental history emerged just decades ago but has established itself as one of the most innovative and important new approaches to history, one that bridges the human and natural world, the humanities and the sciences. With the current trend towards internationalizing history, environmental history is perhaps the quintessential approach to studying subjects outside the nation-state model, with pollution, global warming, and other issues affecting the earth not stopping at national borders. With 25 essays, this Handbook is global in scope and innovative in organization, looking at the field thematically through such categories as climate, disease, oceans, the body, energy, consumerism, and international relations.
Questioning some of the repetitive and narrow theoretical writings on rights, a group of leading intellectuals examine human rights from philosophical, theological, historical, literary and political perspectives.
California roll, Chinese take-out, American-made kimchi, dogmeat, monosodium glutamate, SPAM--all are examples of what Robert Ji-Song Ku calls "dubious" foods. Strongly associated with Asian and Asian American gastronomy, they are commonly understood as ersatz, depraved, or simply bad. In Dubious Gastronomy, Ku contends that these foods share a spiritual fellowship with Asians in the United States in that the Asian presence, be it culinary or corporeal, is often considered watered-down, counterfeit, or debased manifestations of the "real thing." The American expression of Asianness is defined as doubly inauthentic--as insufficiently Asian and unreliably American when measured against a largely ideological if not entirely political standard of authentic Asia and America. By exploring the other side of what is prescriptively understood as proper Asian gastronomy, Ku suggests that Asian cultural expressions occurring in places such as Los Angeles, Honolulu, New York City, and even Baton Rouge are no less critical to understanding the meaning of Asian food--and, by extension, Asian people--than culinary expressions that took place in Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai centuries ago. In critically considering the impure and hybridized with serious and often whimsical intent, Dubious Gastronomy argues that while the notion of cultural authenticity is troubled, troubling, and troublesome, the apocryphal is not necessarily a bad thing: The dubious can be and is often quite delicious. Dubious Gastronomy overlaps a number of disciplines, including American and Asian American studies, Asian diasporic studies, literary and cultural studies, and the burgeoning field of food studies. More importantly, however, the book fulfills the critical task of amalgamating these areas and putting them in conversation with one another. Written in an engaging and fluid style, it promises to appeal a wide audience of readers who seriously enjoys eating--and reading and thinking about--food.
Evaluates the contradictory attitudes that people have about animals, exploring such disparate facts as a belief that pets are part of a family in spite of high meat consumption, in a report that draws on interviews with philosophers, farmers, and other commentators. Original.
In this work, the author explores the underlying worldview of nature ethics, offering an alternative ecofeminist perspective. She focuses on four prominent representatives of holist philosophy: two early conservationists (Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold) and two contemporary philosophers (Holmes Rolston III, and transpersonal ecologist Warwick Fox). She argues that in directing their moral allegiance to abstract constructs (e.g. species, the ecosystem, or the transpersonal Self ) these influential nature theorists represent a masculinist orientation that devalues concern for individual animals. Seeking to heal the divisions among the seemingly disparate movements and philosophies of feminism, animal advocacy, environmental ethics, and holistic health, she proposes an ecofeminist philosophy that underscores the importance of empathy and care for individual beings as well as larger wholes.