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Argument: Modern humans have lost touch with animals and our likeness

Issue Report: Animal testing

Issue Report: Hunting for sport

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Michael Pollan. “An Animal’s Place”. New York Times Magazine. November 10, 2002 – “We tolerate this disconnect because the life of the pig has moved out of view. When’s the last time you saw a pig? (Babe doesn’t count.) Except for our pets, real animals–animals living and dying–no longer figure in our everyday lives. Meat comes from the grocery store, where it is cut and packaged to look as little like parts of animals as possible. The disappearance of animals from our lives has opened a space in which there’s no reality check, either on the sentiment or the brutality. This is pretty much where we live now, with respect to animals, and it is a space in which the Peter Singers and Frank Perdues of the world can evidently thrive equally well.

Several years ago, the English critic John Berger wrote an essay, ‘Why Look at Animals?’ in which he suggested that the loss of everyday contact between ourselves and animals–and specifically the loss of eye contact–has left us deeply confused about the terms of our relationship to other species. That eye contact, always slightly uncanny, had provided a vivid daily reminder that animals were at once crucially like and unlike us; in their eyes we glimpsed something unmistakably familiar (pain, fear, tenderness) and something irretrievably alien. Upon this paradox people built a relationship in which they felt they could both honor and eat animals without looking away. But that accommodation has pretty much broken down; nowadays, it seems, we either look away or become vegetarians. For my own part, neither option seemed especially appetizing. Which might explain how I found myself reading ‘Animal Liberation’ in a steakhouse.”

Konrad Lorenz, Naturalist – “Most people have forgotten how to live with living creatures, with living systems and that, in turn, is the reason why man, whenever he comes into contact with nature, threatens to kill the natural system in which and from which he lives.”[1]