Changing Perspectives on Wildlife in Southern Africa, C.1840 to C.1914

In: Society & Animals
Author: Jane Carruthers
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Abstract

This article analyzes how a number of writers in English articulated their attitudes toward southern Africa's indigenous mammal megafauna from c.1840 to just before the First World War. In changing contexts of declining wild animal numbers, it examines how attitudes and the expression of those attitudes—together with developments in biology—altered with the modernization of government and the economy. To some extent, it also explores the human and other values placed on certain species of animals, including ideas about extinction, notions of what constitutes "vermin," and evolving opinions on nature and environmental conservation. Some of the concerns discussed here include lines of thinking that continue, albeit much altered, into our own time.

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