By Arran Stibbe
Animals are disappearing, vanishing, and loss of life out—not simply within the actual feel of turning into extinct, yet within the feel of being erased from our cognizance. more and more, interactions with animals take place at a get rid of: mediated through nature courses, books, and cartoons; framed through the enclosures of zoos and aquariums; distanced by means of the museum situations that demonstrate dead our bodies. during this thought-provoking booklet, Arran Stibbe takes us on a trip of discovery, revealing the various ways that language impacts our relations with animals and the wildlife. Animal-product manuals, college textbooks, ecological studies, media assurance of environmental matters, and animal-rights polemics all in most cases painting animals as inanimate items or passive sufferers. In his look for an alternative choice to those unfavorable kinds of discourse, Stibbe turns to the conventional tradition of Japan. inside of Zen philosophy, haiku poetry, or even modern children’s lively motion pictures, animals seem as energetic brokers, major their very own lives for his or her personal reasons, and of price in themselves.
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Extra info for Animals Erased: Discourse, Ecology, and Reconnection with the Natural World
Animals play many roles in human society, including the roles of companion, entertainer, food item, and commodity. There are therefore numerous discourses and ideologies that influence how they are socially constructed. The emphasis in this chapter is on discourses that have a direct impact on the welfare of large numbers of animals, starting with general discourse but focusing particularly on discourses used in animal product industries. The data that this chapter examines are based on a corpus collected from a variety of different sources, all of which were publicly available and therefore potentially influential.
Other linguistic mechanisms that distance us from animal suffering occur at the lexical level: “The very words we use conceal its [meat’s] origin, we eat beef, not bull . . and pork, not pig” (Singer 1990/1975: 95). We also wear leather made from hide, not skin, and eat a carcass, not a corpse. ” Killing, too, is lexicalized differently for humans and animals: animals are slaughtered, humans are murdered. Interchanging these two: “You murdered my pet hamster” is comical, “The refugees were slaughtered” means they were killed brutally, uncaringly, and immorally.
These mental representations are part of what Van Dijk (1997: 27) calls “social cognition,” since they are shared among members of a society through participation in and exposure to discourse. In the end, it is this social cognition that influences which animal products people buy, how the meat industry treats animals, and whether people actively campaign against the oppression of animals. Animals play many roles in human society, including the roles of companion, entertainer, food item, and commodity.
Animals Erased: Discourse, Ecology, and Reconnection with the Natural World by Arran Stibbe