Michael J. Lynch
Harms against nonhuman animals have become a significant concern in different disciplines (e.g., green criminology). This paper presents a multi-disciplinary discussion of one form of animal harm—wildlife harm—created by state agencies charged with protecting animals. Specifically, this issue is examined by reviewing the complex problems faced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which is charged with competing objectives: between protecting economic and public health interests, and protecting wildlife. In managing the human–wildlife conflicts brought to its attention, the USFWS must often make tradeoffs between protecting economic and public health interests, and protecting wildlife. As the data reviewed here indicate, this leads the USFWS to kill a large number of animals each year to protect economic and public health interests—more than 40 million animals since 1996. The political and economic factors that influence these killings, and how the state balances conflicting interests, are also examined.
Emily Blair Pfoutz
This piece is part of a larger ethnographic and auto-ethnographic project exploring the intersubjective nature of human-horse entanglements. After elucidating how relationships between horses and humans are often reflective of broader oppressive power structures in human societies, I explore alternative ways of being with horses that create space for reciprocity and have the potential to upend hierarchical logics of domination. I focus on rhythmic attunement and co-created “movement languages,” emphasizing the importance of shared vulnerability, a recognition of individuality, and an attitude of openness rather than control. Ultimately, my experiences with horses function as a starting point for reconceiving our relationships with our other human and nonhuman earthly cohabitants.
Christine Yvette Tardif-Williams, John-Tyler Binfet and Camille Xinmei Rousseau
This mixed-methods study explored how participation in an intensive course on human-animal relationships impacted preservice teachers’ views about human-animal welfare and advocacy and animal-focused curriculum. Participants were 25 undergraduate students (24 female; 1 male) following a teacher education pathway. Participants completed the Animal Rights Scale, and their insights on assigned readings were captured through weekly journal entries and responses to summative prompts. Participants reported feeling increased responsibility to advocate on behalf of nonhuman animals and greater support of animal welfare during the post-course (versus pre-course) assessment, and participants’ weekly and summative responses revealed some of the nuances and internal tensions in their thinking about integrating animal-focused curriculum as part of their future professional practice. As teachers play key roles fostering humane literacy and engaging young people with actual nature and animals, these findings have implications for both education and higher education curriculum and initiatives.
Geoffrey N. Swinney
Through a case study of the museum career of a mounted specimen of African elephant, the nature of “museum objects” and sites in which they engage in the construction of meaning are examined. The paper tracks a series of representations through a museum and explores how this representative of the species was appropriated, rematerialized, represented and re-presented in a variety of media to convey new meanings. It analyzes the processes of translation and remediation involved in constructing and mobilizing different kinds of knowledge. The contingent nature of meanings created around the representation of the elephant in different sites and in different media is discussed in the context of recent discourse on materiality and material culture.
Amelia R. Cornish, Brayden Ashton, David Raubenheimer and Paul D. McGreevy
Consumers are increasingly concerned about nonhuman animal welfare in food production and, as their awareness continues to rise, demand for welfare-friendly products is growing. The current study explores the Australian market for welfare-friendly food of animal origin by outlining and clarifying how consumers’ welfare concerns affect their purchasing decisions. It reports the findings of an Australian face-to-face survey of consumers’ knowledge of and attitudes to farm animal welfare and their reported purchasing of welfare-friendly animal-derived products. A novel aspect of this survey was its effort to establish consumers’ understanding of welfare-friendly labels, their motivation to purchase welfare-friendly products, and the barriers to doing so. The survey was deployed in four shopping districts in New South Wales, Australia, in 2016. Data were collected from 135 respondents, and the results are discussed below.
Melanie Sartore-Baldwin and Brian McCullough
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship sport fans have with their mascots when represented by a nonhuman animal who is a member of an endangered species group. Adopting a shared responsibility perspective, this study examined the level of knowledge sport fans possess about their endangered species mascot and how sport fan identity might impact one’s desire to learn more. Findings supported the hypothesis that highly identified fans would want to learn more about the endangered species, thus suggesting that sport organizations may be in an advantageous position to create change through organizational initiatives and practices involving partner organizations and in-house conservation efforts.
This literature review seeks to advance the interdisciplinary conversation that dog parks are a resource for building social capital through interpersonal exchange, which is beneficial for both individuals’ health across the life span and for the communities. Dog parks have been linked to health promotion behaviors and improved long-term health of the companion animals and their guardians. Similarly, social capital and dog guardianship have been independently linked to positive health outcomes through a limited amount of literature. By analyzing the relevant literature on the triangulation of social capital, dog-human relationship, and dog parks within the United States through a robust literature review, the author seeks to advance the call for empirical research towards understanding dog parks as a mechanism to create and sustain social capital within urban neighborhoods.
Fat feline and canine bodies are increasingly medicalized in stories from veterinary journals that describe a “rising tide of pet obesity.” The construction of “obesity epidemics” and “pandemics” drive the storylines of these journals that claim fat bodies are at risk of increased pain during life and early death. Despite the authoritarian tone of the stories, few certainties and agreements exist within the literature. Yet the stories weave together with a fatphobic culture, technoscience, humanism, and neoliberalism to shape the types of choices available for “responsible pet owners” and practicing veterinarians. Laced with fatphobia, veterinary knowledges have the potential power to literally reshape the bodies of companion animals. For more accurate descriptions of reality and more diverse futures, science needs new stories that recognize and construct heterogenous ways of being and relating within and between species.
This paper suggests studies on genetically engineering nonhuman animal genes have globalized over the last 30 years. The results unveil maps that give a global overview of universities’ studies into engineering animal genes, by purpose and by species, at a state scale. A network map also shows how studies on engineering animal genes are co-constituted internationally, at a state scale. Some of the more notable map findings are developed using a novel ontological approach. This ontology relates the being of an animal, a constitutive lack, to power relations. The beings of animals are trapped into serving capital through the engineering of their genes. This reconfiguration allows the ensnaring of the body in agricultural, or other, power relations. The scale of this carceral archipelago is positioned as a global risk. Life energy, by nature, resists capture. Therefore, the paper concludes that the clock is ticking on genetic scientists’ Faustian bargain.