Reading the Animal Text in the Landscape of the Damned
197 pages

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197 pages

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Reading the animal text in the landscape of the damned looks at the diverse texts of our everyday world relating to nonhuman animals and examines the meanings we imbibe from them. It describes ways in which we can explore such artefacts, especially from the perspective of groups and individuals with little or no power. This work understands the oppression of nonhuman animals as being part of a spectrum incorporating sexism, racism, xenophobia, economic exploitation and other forms of oppression. The enquiry includes, physical landscapes, the law, women�s rights, history, slavery, language use, economic coercion, farming, animal experimentation and much more. Reading the animal text in the landscape of the damned is an academic work but is accessible, theoretically based but robustly practical and it encourages the reader to take this enquiry further for both themselves and for others.



Publié par
Date de parution 22 octobre 2019
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781920033620
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Reading the animal text in the landscape of the damned

First edition, second impression 2019
Text and the work copyright The Author, Les Mitchell 2019
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by electronic or mechanical means, including any information storage or retrieval system, without the prior permission in writing of the copyright holder.
The author and the publisher have made every effort to obtain permission for and acknowledge use of copyright material. Should an inadvertent infringement of copyright have occurred, please contact the publisher and we will rectify omissions or errors in any subsequent reprint or edition.
Published in South Africa on behalf of the author by NISC (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 377, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
ISBN 978-1-920033-60-6 (print)
ISBN 978-1-920033-61-3 (PDF)
ISBN 978-1-920033-62-0 (ePub)
Design, typesetting and layout: NISC (Pty) Ltd
Proofreading: Peter Lague
Cover design: Advanced Design Group
Photographs: The Author
Printed by Digital Action (Pty) Ltd
Do we recognise the suffering imposed upon billions of nonhuman animals by human animals in the flesh and milk industry; in vivisection laboratories; in using them for power and entertainment and in the taking of their natural habitat? Given that nonhuman animals are utterly powerless to resist this oppression how is our Society called to act?
Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Heronbridge, South Africa 2006
In so many ways countless people have contributed to this book and I am grateful to all of them and my thanks go to Mike and the staff at NISC for their professionalism and expertise in being able to put all of this together.
Special thanks go to Olive and Bob for guidance and the timeless advice to always think for yourself , to Emma and Ruth for their belief and encouragement and to Pauline for endless patience as well as discussions, ideas, reading this work and for inspirational coffee and breadsticks. Thank you to Rachel for allowing me the privilege of using many of her words in re telling the story of herself and Jerom. And a loving, thank you to all of our special nonhuman animal companions, for joy over the years and through diverse countries. Truly we have crossed many rivers together.
1 A world divided
Buried feelings
On the other side of the fence
Legal abuse
Minds in the balance
2 Reality. truth and the devil s rope
Tool kit
Social practices
Selling lives
Common sense
Texts - transmitting meaning
Reading minds
Cowboy country
Landscapes of the damned
3 Saying more than we think
The language we use
The communication processes
Hidden meanings
Linguistic forensics
Examining the text
Nice words
What is the text actually saying?
Animals and language
4 Violent language
Calling names
Pigs and porky pies
Violent words and victims lives
A deadly mess
Bodies of no further use
Domestication or deception?
Animals, women and words
5 Chained minds
Aristotle, chains and ladders
Long chain running
Racializing science
Evolving nonsense and real kinship
6 Lives with purposes and other lies
Good breeding?
Eugenics for all
Lives for a purpose
The cow who died to teach
7 Bound together?
Slavery in our land?
Slavery as a social practice
Slavery discourses and ideology
8 Bucolic facades
Down on the farm
Production machines and raw materials.
Quality control - science tests the products
Producing producers
Breeds as brands
Breeding violence
Breed Stories
Carnal desires at the house of flesh
9 Horsemeat and bull
The drama begins
Humans and horses - an abusive love affair
Eating horses
What s the problem?
Horse flesh in the news
Constructing the story
Flesh on the move
Representing animals
Making jokes
Amorphous flesh
Looking behind the facade
10 Writing wrongs
Labs and language
Language in the legislation
Legal killing, forms of dying
Who kills and how
Experiments on humans
Animals in The House
Dead right
Flipping flesh
11 Lying by telling the truth
Language of the discipline
Standardised suffering
Absent agents and disappearing animals
Material beings and being immaterial
Pigs become kidneys
Dogs and jaws
Dollars and death
12 Paying the price
Selling suffering
Behind the websites and the walls
Do it yourself
Looking back
13 Scientific victims and sexual fantasies
History of animal experiments
Claude Bernard
Poverty and power
Rough treatment
Sex and nonsense
Pornography, gynaecology and stables
14 Mad women and the brown dog
The Great Debate
A growing force
Border skirmishes
The sick sex?
Mad women
The Brown Dog
Fountain of resistance
Political attack
A dog by any other name
The return of The Dog
Bands of Mercy
The central question
15 War crimes
Why do we carry out experiments on animals?
Experiments on humans
Unit 731
Nazis and the Ravensbr ck rabbits
16 Animal experiments in the public domain
Waving shrouds and public health
Ethical arguments
My way or you re dead
Shroud Waving
Health care overlooked
17 Constructing identities
Who is who?
Contestations of violence
Debbie Vincent
Facts to the rescue
White coats and occult knowledge
Journal wrath
Silenced voices
Selective justice isn t justice
18 Killing mechanisms
Structures for violence
Humans killing humans
Bureaucracy and organisation
Science and technology
The Law
Authority and power
Discourses and ideology
Capitalism and consumer demand
Essential mechanisms
19 Shocking revelations
Experimental social psychology
Milgram and authority
How it all worked
Zimbardo and deindividuation
Guards and prisoners
Bandura and moral disengagement
Conditions facilitating moral disengagement
How the system works
System failure
20 Other voices, other worlds
Making changes
Old saints and animals
Phoenix the calf
Final days
Jerom s last day
All that they have
Walking towards liberation
Appendix: Physical texts
Text 1
Text 2
Text 3
Text 4
Text 5
As human beings we have the most extraordinary capacity for evil. We can perpetrate some of the most horrendous atrocities.
Desmond Tutu 1
T HIS BOOK IS about reading the landscape of our world with its texts of normalised violence against nonhuman animals and seeking to understand how this mass violence can go on. While the writing may be on the wall, there is no doubt that these texts are absolutely everywhere, yet so common that for the most part we don t even recognise that they exist. But whether we recognise them or not they influence our thoughts and actions and prove devastating for those beings with whom we share this planet. Insidiously and in multiple ways, they are able to reach deeply into our psychology to uncouple our normal feelings of responsibility and culpability from the actions we carry out or support.
This book falls into three sections. First, we examine the problem of mass violence against animals and then go on to look at texts, discourses, ideologies and the power of language to socially construct the world including identities. In the next section we use these concepts for our broad analysis of a number of texts, both physical and language based, drawn from a wide variety of contexts but particularly relating to farming and animal experimentation. In the final section we examine what is required in order to carry out mass violence and we investigate the power of ideology and discourses to switch off our normal moral accountability so that we can be a party to, or support, the most hideous acts of violation.
Some of the areas we touch on are animal farming, animal experimentation, slavery, racism, history, language, discourses, power, government documents, guidance from medical authorities, war trials, advertising, scientific journals, mass human - human violence, social psychology, the struggle for women s rights, economic exploitation and alternative discourses.
I have tried to plot a direct and logical journey in these pages but as often happens with expeditions, there are always interesting side tracks to explore. So, I am afraid, at times we wander off here and there, although we always do so with intent. I trust you will find these diversions interesting and informative.
This book is a working document, hopefully contributing to our improved understanding in this field and offering useful tools for additional enquiry. It is a limited investigation which can be amplified by readers as they use what is in these pages and more, to make their own enquiries in their different countries,

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