Friday, June 12, 2015

The dissappearing Saiga's

Recently, an unknown, extremely deadly disease has been killed over 100,000 Saiga's
Scientists are now trying to figure out why the Saiga's are dying so rapidly. Almost extinct, these animals have made a jump from 50,000 too 250,000 over the last few years. However, in the past two to three weeks over 100,000 Saiga's have dropped dead, due to he unknown disease. The disease must have a correleation too human involvement, as said in the article it is probably due to the strange weather patterns we have been experiencing this past month and also chemical rain from the farms around the area. Humans almost hunt this animal to extinction, bring them back, and due to our actions, they are almost extinct again.

All Chimp Species endangered

According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Services, all chimpanzee species are to be considered endangered.
This does not include people that own chimps as pets, but it does include the selling of chimpanzee's blood and tissues, and also using chimps in science.
I am glad they are taking steps in giving chimps freedom. Since we have killed so many of them, and they are so closely related to us. The article makes logical sense, in that chimps need to be protected, having them in captivity is fine, but having them for science experiments and using their vital organs should not be protected under law.

Elephant Grieving

The article Grief, Sadness, and the Bones of Elephants got me thinking about animal emotions and their ability to mourn the loss of their loved ones so I decided to venture further into the topic and stumbled across this video. The way the elephants act toward the bones show that they are feeling emotions at that moment, although the exact emotions they are experienced aren't fully understood. I think animals experience very complex emotions but because they can't speak to humans through language, humans down-play these animals and claim that they are dumb or aren't intellectually comparable to humans. Similarly, humans commonly look at all animals of one species as having the same personality when that can't be further from the truth. I think humans need to expand their minds and look at animals as equals and as distinct individuals and then animals would be treated much better and actually have the rights that many humans claim they should have.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"A Major Change" by Temple Grandin - Response (Prompt #7)

“A Major Change” by Temple Grandin engages with the concept of improving the welfare of animals bred for the purpose of their meat or other byproducts. Grandin emphasizes the necessity to be attentive towards the needs of animals that differ from the needs of neurotypical humans but somewhat correlate or overlap with the sensory needs of people with autism or other atypical perspectives. I think Grandin’s strongest argument is her assertion that the vocalization of animals in slaughterhouses is an indicator of their comfort. Not only does this argument serve to fill the communication void between humans and animals a bit, but also she conveys this issue with strong support and a solution. Grandin provides data that strongly suggests that vocalization is correlated with discomfort and pain, as it relates to the use of cattle prods and stressful environments (188). She follows this up by offering a solution that she personally invented and tested. I would say that Grandin’s weakest point is her reliance on the assumption that autism and animal perception are similar. I think it serves to create an empathetic narrative for the reader to understand the pain and suffering of animals, but I also think there is a danger that it can be misconstrued to dehumanize non-neurotypical people.

Anti-Animal Testing cartoon

In this cartoon, “animal testing” is turned into a play on words because the animals are the ones doing the testing. The animals are depicted with cruel facial expressions and the human on whom they are experimenting looks terrified and pained. Anyone looking at this carton would immediately think how scary and awful it would feel to be the person on the table and would say this sort of treatment is cruel and should be illegal. Because the viewer would know that the scenario is usually reversed and the animal is the one scared and in pain, it causes them to rethink any ideas they may have had about animal testing being acceptable. By flipping the situation and putting the human in the animals place, it forces the viewer to see the scenario from the animal’s perspective, and hopefully understand and have empathy for them. 

The Sexual Politics of Meat in Commercials

In an Arby’s commercial titled “This Is Meat Craft- We Have the Meats”, it is very clear that the target audience is men. The commercial begins with the slabs of meat being aggressively slammed onto the table, followed by a man’s deep voice asking in an almost mocking tone, “Did the meat scare you? Are you intimidated by their might and marbley-ness?” Saying that one should be intimidated by the meat implies that meat is strong and formidable, and should be feared. The deep voice then says “You sit atop the food chain and these meats are your prize, your championship belt, your protein trophy”. By placing man on the top of the food chain, the commercial is reinforcing the idea that man has the highest ranking in all of nature, which also contributes to human exceptionalism. By calling meat a “prize” or a “trophy”, it relates it to sports, something typically masculine. Although the meat is only ever bought in the form of a sandwich, which is shown briefly at the end, the whole emphasis of the commercial is on the meat. The bread and vegetables are entirely unmentioned because they placid and feminine. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


More on the connection between misogyny and speciesism. I saw a post online yesterday about how the female author of the post was walking alone by a group of men who were calling things like "come here!" and "how 'bout a kiss?" and other condescending flirtations. Fed up, she turned around to tell them off, only to find they were calling to a dog across the street. While, no doubt, a relief at the time, this only goes to show how little difference there is between the way some men speak to animals and the way they speak to women. In our last section meeting, it was brought up how we tend to speak condescendingly to our fully grown pets. This behavior is not exclusive to animals, as shown in the example above, and extends to women as well. It's jarring to realize how women and non-human animals are treated with equal disrespect by men, and how normalized it is on both fronts.