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.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Elephant Breakdown

Elephant Breakdown by Michael Pollan

I found this article to be really depressing.

Pollan extensively talks about how elephant society is breaking down because of human intervention such as poaching. Elephant societies are intricate, and the slaughtering of a mother causes vast psychological pain to her offspring. With the detailed web of kinship, any fracture to it is detrimental. Pollan did well explaining the ways that human intervention is causing a problem with elephant kinship, which in turn is leading to elephant outburst and harm to human society.
Perhaps a weakness to this article is that it is rather lengthy. For a New York Times article, I feel that the readers are looking for a more concise expose as opposed to a long and detailed article.

Characters or Symbolism?

The connection between women and animals is distinct in literature and art in more ways than one. Although the idea of women's relationship with animals and nature that stems from creation tales such as Eve and the serpent exist consistently throughout history in literature, I've noticed another recurring theme in both women and animals of literature. Both non-human animals and women are often treated as symbols and plot devices more than actual characters. While a huge amount of female characters in literature fail to pass the Bechdel test and exist purely to further the depth of a male protagonist's character, animals are treated with similar disregard. In much the same way that readers will mourn a female character's demise only through a male character's grief and consequential growth, when we see mention of, say, a raven or crow, our first thought is of bad omens and upcoming conflict for our human heroes; sparing hardly a thought for the actual creature. Although subversion of this trend has been growing in popularity on the side of including strongly developed female characters (in the popularity of franchises like The Hunger Games and Divergence, etc), non-human characters (excluding mythological characters) have yet to become more than a means for symbolism and/or plot advancement. This trope, and how rarely it is noticed by readers, displays both the internalized misogyny and speciesism of modern society.

Yet another movie, Ex Machina this time

Like with my last post, this movie does not specifically include animals in it, in fact it is completely devoid of them just like Mad Max. That being said, the subject matter of the movie, as well as its underlying themes suggested to me a relationship to this class when I was watching it. Ex Machina is a film about a young man who works at a tech company who is invited to spend a week at the remote home of his employer. At the house he is tasked with giving what his employer believes is artificial intelligence a series of tests, known as Turing Tests, to see if it is indeed true AI. I won't continue with the plot, because it isn't entirely necessary to this discussion, but once again I will add a little sidebar suggesting you go and see this movie because it is fantastic. Now back to the topic at hand, the relation this movie has with the course is a bit more abstract in its nature, however the subject matter of artificial intelligence shares a close bond with the course. AI represents a new type of intelligence, one separate and yet equal if not greater than that of human beings. It's the field that would shake the very Cartesian fabric on which society is built in which the thinking thing of the human being is no longer the only one worthy of treatment as the baseline being. That basic similarity aside, the movie shares another somewhat more obscured relation. In this movie that is entirely devoid of animals other than the human beings who are the main characters, of which there are only two, the artificial intelligence becomes the surrogate subject to be related kept as animals. The AI in question, Eva, is kept in a room with her only interaction with humans being the side of the room where a glass window is installed. This room, or cage as it should be called, is quite similar in purpose to that of a zoo cage. It allows the human who believes themselves greater to observe from safety the unpredictable animals, or in this case AI, that they wish to study. The movie moves closer into themes of liberation and hints of feministic ideologies that I won't go into detail on but trust me when I say this is one philosophical journey of modern cinematography that should not be missed, especially if you ascribe your own thinking to be similar to the subject matter of this course.

Mad Max and its Tangential Relationship with this Class

I recently had the pleasure of seeing the movie Mad Max in theaters, this is a bit of a sidebar but I suggest everyone reading this goes and sees it because it is truly spectacular, and while watching the movie I couldn't help but connect it to this classes themes, even if only a bit. The setup for Mad Max is pretty simple, Max Rockatansky, the protagonist, gets roped into helping Furiosa and five women she has liberated escape from the man she freed them from, Immortan Joe and his army of crazed War Boys. Without getting too far into the realm of spoilers, the relation this movie shares with the themes of this class has to do with its clear feminist underpinnings running throughout the course of the movie. The world has been destroyed, there is not clear reason as to how it happened but the course of human history leading up to this future is not too difficult to figure out on your own. The movie has a question repeated throughout it, "Who broke the world?" which is delivered in an almost indicting tone toward the antagonist of Immortan Joe. Its suggestion is that Joe, who represents the patriarchy of modern society along with its class based system, is the symbol of who is responsible for this future. It is worth noting that not once in the two hour plus movie was an animal shown. They are gone along with the grass and the trees and the water. This running theme of getting away from the patriarchy, and escaping this possible future, I felt very closely relates to this course and its themes of liberating society, and animals, and for equality among all creatures of the Earth.

Saturday, June 6, 2015


I saw a trailer for the movie Ant Man recently, and it got me thinking about superheroes. Specifically, about superheroes that are associated with animals - and, as it turns out, there are a lot. Whether it's an ant's size and proportionate strength, a bird's flight, a spider's web, or a chameleon's camouflage, when imagining humans as something better or more evolved than what we are, we seem most inclined to think of attributes that already exist in other animals. Although humanity mostly gave up it's original respect for nature and non-human animals during the early industrial revolutions, some of this mindset seems to have stayed with us, in the admiration with which we consider certain animals, even if it is only in a fictional or symbolic context. It made me wonder that maybe if animals were just a little more human-like (if they walked on two feet or spoke a language we could learn or looked like Bruce Wayne - okay maybe that's too far) the current binary of humans over animals would be flipped. We admire so many things about animals but only when they attributed to humans - a parallel of sorts to cultural appropriation, but on a physiological/biological level rather than a cultural and aesthetic one. The implications are very similar to how a white girl wearing a bindi is 'artsy', while an Indian girl wearing one is a potential terrorist. Our admiration for animals and their abilities is obvious in our media, but that admiration has yet to return to the animals themselves.

Friday, June 5, 2015

"In Defense of Slavery" by Marjorie Spiegel

In Marjorie Spiegel's essay "In Defense of Slavery," the author argues that the domestication of animals by humans is tantamount to the enslavement of African's from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Spiegel's strongest argument, in my opinion, was that of Aristotle's interpretation of the subjugation and domestication of animals and some humans over two thousand years ago. Aristotle argued that being tamed improves an animals existence, claiming that is "secures [the animals] survival." Though I do not agree with Aristotle's take on slavery, I do respect  him as one of the greatest minds in history. I believe that the weakest argument made in this essay is that many slaves enjoyed there enslavement. After visiting a plantation, Sterling Brown claimed that he found no evidence of the horrible conditions attributed to slave plantations, instead finding "a kindly patriarchy and grateful, happy slaves." This is the weakest piece of evidence in my mind because even if the conditions on this particular plantation were livable I doubt that those conditions were standard for all slaves.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thinking Like Cattle and The Open Steppe

My favorite article from week five was Temple Grandin's "Thinking Like Animals". Grandin attempts to bridge the gap between the desires of the factory farmers and the needs of the animals; she offers a realistic starting point to moving towards a more ethical food industry. Grandin eases opponents of animal welfare by offering a better means of processing the animals, better for for both farmer and cow. What she is doing is introducing people who have never before considered the mindset of cows to that mindset, but veiled in the disguise of a better machine for processing cattle. Other authors we have read have advocated for a complete liberation of animals, though just, these are hardly realistic options in our complicated world . Grandin offers an excellent starting point, putting ourselves into cows hoofs so we can ease their suffering in the slaughter house.

However there are points that Grandin makes that I strongly disagree with. "Death at the slaughter plant is quicker and less painful than death in the wild. Lions dining on the guts of a live animal is much worse in my opinion". I think this is a naive statement, the life of a factory farm is equivalent to life on death row: trapped in a camp for a period of time until the eventual early death. For the alternative I must quote 1982's "Conan the Barbarian". When a warrior is asked what is best in life, he replies with "The open steppe, fleet horse... and the wind in your hair". A brief life of freedom will always be greater than an extended one of imprisonment.
PETA animal testing video, Warning! It is disturbing!

In the simplest terms, animal testing is cruel and unethical. PETA stands for, as it names suggests, the ethical treatment of animals. In the video they emphasize the torture these animals experience in labs, or any scenario where animal testing is conducted. Compared to Descartes view, PETA takes the opposing side, in that they don't deny thought and/or life to animals. Based on the highly graphic images displayed in the video it would suggest PETA refutes the rights of humans to performs test on animals.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Grandin's "Thinking Like Animals"

For this blog I read Temple Grandin's piece, "Thinking Like Animals". I really enjoyed reading this passage; it is a story that I have heard before on a television show a few years ago. The work that Grandin does for animals headed for slaughter is amazing and very interesting when you consider how she is able to better understand these animals through her autism. The strongest part of this argument is her stance on the reasoning behind her design of the restraint system. She gives concrete reasons as to what alarms cattle and what calms them and she does so by speaking from a personal experience point of view. Through her autism she was able to understand more and more about how touch, sound, and motion affect people and animals which led her to create a much more humane method for slaughtering cattle. She talks about how she used to like to feel the pressure of the machine because it would calm her down just like it does for the animals. The only weak point of this argument is that she does not bring in any other testimonies from researchers or professionals, which doesn't necessarily hurt her cause but it also doesn't add anything extra. Overall, I really enjoy this piece. I think that Grandin is doing wonderful, helpful work and her story of using her handicap to benefit the world is an inspiration.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Second favorite

I think my second favorite story from the Class Reader would have to be "Beavertown". Reading it gives me a sense of animal rights. The beavers were making a dam right in front of Mr. Foley's home causing a flood into his basement. Mr. Foley calls the police complaining, and the policeman shows up and argues, that the beavers are protected, that there's nothing they can do about it. Mr.Foley was astonished and said, "You mean a beaver is more important that a man, than my entire family?" The Policeman simply said that the beavers are not doing it on purpose, that they all have homes and a family to protect just as well as we humans do. Mr. Foley then threatened the beavers claiming he can use a single grenade to get rid of the dam. The policeman said, "After four hundred years of slaughter, we're finally at peace with the beavers,they're happy, we're happy, they're hard working, intelligent, and strong." I feel that this quote is really what hits the home run. The policeman is giving all human traits to the beavers, which imply's that they are just like us and that they deserve the same rights we do.

Favorite From the Class Reader

It seems that my favorite from the beginning of the quarter is a pretty popular one, The Crane Wife. I even chose to write my first essay about it, and had a few family members read it because I liked it so much. I am not sure why I liked it s much, maybe because there was a twist with the wife being the crane? Anyways, I feel as though it connects with this class in a few different ways. 1) I remember a while back we talked a lot about the relationship between women and animals. How they seem to be closer to one another than man and animals. Using Adam and Eve as an example, Adam was created first and then Eve and  animals were created second. The wife in "The Crane Wife" is in fact an animal, a crane to be exact. Therefore a very strong bond between woman and animal. The second topic I feel that this story touches on is animal labor. I know this may seem far fetched but think about it. The husband continuously asked his wife to make sails for him even though it almost killed her, pushing her to her limit she ran away. The wife even warned him, "Do not ask this of me, husband, You ask me to give all of myself." We all know that humans push animals to their limit and many of them end up dead. Whether its lab testing, or needing donkeys for agriculture.


My favorite reading from this quarter was Axolotl by Julio Cortazar. I just love the tone with which it was written, setting an eerie sort of suspense with its imagery and ambiguous word choices. It was a reading that actually gave me goosebumps, especially when the pronouns for the axolotls turned from 'they' to 'I'. The anthropomorphic descriptions of the axolotls somehow made them seem even more alien, rather than more familiar, and contributed hugely to the somewhat unsettling tone. The fact that you're never quite sure whether the man truly is transforming or is actually as unbalanced as he mentions a guard thinking he is brings out some of the most interesting aspects of having an unreliable narrator.

The blurred line between species was effective in the story-telling, and in making a statement (intended or not) on human exceptionalism. Like Vanita Seth implied in her piece ("Difference"), this story makes one consider the man-made nature of the construct of species. With the mysterious ending, implying that the man was now both human and axolotl, and though perhaps more spiritual than social, the idea of arbitrariness in differentiating species shines through.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


The Jaguar is the story I enjoyed reading the most because I learned that these creatures are more than just animals who are enclosed in a zoo or an amusement park. These animals should be liberated or at least treated fairly. Now, when I go to amusement parks, I feel angry that for instance elephants are used for amusements for young kids where the kids are allowed to ride the elephants. Or for instance, when people go to see live animals perform for the amusement of animals. I want to understand when do we draw the boundaries to know when it is right to help these animals. 
The author compares the rest of the animals in the zoo including the apes, the parrots, and the tiger. The author writes that the jaguar is different and is getting the most attention from people because he has fire in his eyes. The jaguar is still mentally free, but the other animals have surrendered to become domesticated and that it is still wild and will not be concord despite that he is trapped. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

"The Snake" by DH Lawrence

In the poem "The Snake" by DH Lawrence, I can relate well with the man in the story. I feel that my reaction toward the snake would be similar. I wouldn't want to "kill" the snake, but I would definitely want to "get rid of it". In my case it is out of fear that the snake would hurt me. Ironically, similar to the author, I feel that though the snake could hurt me, I feel like I could hurt it more because I am superior. This perspective would be considered speciesisism.

I also think that the man and the snake have a very interesting relationship. According to DH Lawrence, the snake is indifferent to the man's presence (which gives off the feeling that the snake does not regard the human to be important. On the other hand, the man is conflicted about how he should react to the snake. In general, I see that the relationship portrayed between the snake and the man is unique.

She Unnames Them

In the beginning of the quarter we read Ursula LeGuin's "She Unnames Them" and discussed many different creation stories, which describe the beginning of human and animal interactions and relationships. "She Unnames Them" is a rewrite of the story Genesis. This rewrite is about Eve, who develops a relationship with the animals on Earth. She realizes that all of the animals have names, but the names were chosen by Adam and she also realizes that her own name was given to her by Adam. In an attempt to become closer to the animals, she decides to abandon her name and unnames all of the animals. What she realized is that after all of the animals were unnamed, she felt closer to them. There was a sense of understanding and a stronger connection because they all seemed to be on the same level, no one above or below the other. This story brings up an interesting topic about human and animal relationships. It seems in the beginning of the story Adam and Eve had domain over the animals. Humans had animals like cats and dogs as pets and owned sheep and cows. Eve did not want this type of relationship with the animals though, she wanted them to be her equal, which is why she abandoned the concept of names. This shows that even from the beginning of time, humans have put themselves above animals, believing that animals were made for their own benefits. In "She Unnames Them," LeGuin is pointing out that animals should be considered our equals. This relates to the topic we have discussed in class which is animal rights. A pressing issue is should animals hold the same rights as humans and why or why not? Animals were not made for humans anymore than humans were made for animals. The communication barrier between humans and animals has caused humans to use that as a reason to put themselves above animals and make reasons as to why people are superior.

Thinking Like Animals by Temple Grandin

Rarely are there any writings about the experiences and feelings through an animal's perspective because humans do not have a direct way to reading the thoughts of animals. However, due to her Autism, Temple Grandin gives the public a novel view when she explicates her comprehension of their anxiety, fears, and perception. In her article, "Thinking like Animals," Grandin utilizes her personal impediment and fuses it with her knowledge of animals, claiming that animals should be treated humanely even if they are going to be slaughtered. She describes herself as being "part human and part animal," which further emphasizes her empathy towards and understanding of animals. The text describes the similarities of animals and people with autism. She focuses on the idea of animals' fear and how they are different from humans'. In addition, she makes a correlation between her feelings of uneasiness with the cattles' sensitivity, and how a firm touch's pressure alleviates her and the animals. Grandin advocates for the animals' welfare. Cattle will die for people's consumption of red meat, but those animals can still live a life of content, saying that "we own animals a decent life and a painless death." 
I think what's particular interesting is that even thought Grandin cares and understands for animals, she understands that the need for meat is important. Rather than saving the animals, she doesn't seem to be ethically bothered by their deaths for humans. Furthermore, Grandin's perspective is interesting because many people do not encounter the same experiences that she has to live through day to day. She uses her perceptions to create a more human system for the cattle industry. Throughout her article, her experience is coupled with the animals feelings, which made the article filled with more pathos and emotion. 

The Panther translated by A. S. Kline

My favorite reading from this quarter has to be The Panther. The descriptive imagery that is depicted through the diction captivates the reader. There are many hidden meanings behind this tiny passage. One of which is how the wilderness that is locked away from the panther grasp it symbolizes his captivity. And how the panthers strong and supple strides symbolize his former past as a powerful rain forest creature. The goal of the writer was to display the inner thoughts of a caged animal and the despair that is realized when the panther figures out that there is no world beyond the bars. The audience sympathizes with the panthers plight and its desire to be free again. An example of this is shown in the third paragraph where he states that his short supple strides draws him into tightened circles which leaves him paralyzed.

The Crane Wife

My favorite story from this year was the Crane Wife which we read early in the quarter. I found this one the most interesting because of its ability to incorporate issues of speciesism and misogyny in a way that still utilized beautiful imagery and a plot line that appeals to a large audience. The story was very accessible because of the author's manner in which he linked the world of humans with that of animals. The way in which the crane wife gave herself completely to the husband when she spun her initial sail as dowry was a beautiful connection that the two shared. Then as the story develops, the author incorporates misogyny when the husband begins to exploit the crane wife for her sail making ability. The complex relationship that animals and humans shared in this story was in a sense motivational and inspiring. In other words, the way in which the man had all that he loved taken away from his because he exploited the wife was particularly eye opening: It shows the reader that if the only goal of a relationship is to get something from the other person in a selfish and non loving way, then the relationship simply cannot survive. This story was very versatile and enjoyable and I am glad that we were able to incorporate it into our study.

The Sexual Politics of Meat

This piece continues to be my favorite one time and time again throughout this course because I find it to be so accurate and interesting. I believe that this piece shows the relationship between humans and animals as one where the human is all powerful and dominant and the animal means very little to the human. This text demonstrates not only specieism but racism and sexism as well. The white man is the person in the highest ranking or position in this text. He is the one who hunts for the meat, therefore he gets to be in charge of distributing the meat. All meat goes to the men because they were considered the strongest, and needed the most protein. Then it would be divided between women and children, and then people of other races. The relationship between animals and humans is a simple one where humans use the animals for whatever they need with little thought to how it affects the animals. The relationship between human and human is one where the white man is dominant over every other person no matter gender or race.

The Jaguar

My favorite reading from this quarter is without a doubt the first part of the jaguar readings. From start to finish, it entranced me with its diligent use of diction. The first reading about the Jaguar begins in a very apt manner for the subject at hand. I found the descriptions of the lions and other animals to create a vista from which the jaguar would be the focal point of my attention. Beyond the description, the continued use of heat imagery linked to the dejected states of the animals helped to set the tone of the piece very nicely. When it comes to the part actually describing the Jaguar I found the manner in which its unbridled freedom was conveyed to be exceptional. The juxtaposition of his fiery wrath with the placated animals from before truly elucidates the message of the poem. In addition to this juxtaposition, the change in the imagery of fire from being burdening to being the life force inside the Jaguar is exceptionally effective at keeping the raw emotion going. The ending of the poem is both liberating and terribly morose. Overall I found this to be my favorite piece of literature read this year.

"The Crane Wife"

My favorite work from the quarter was probably “The Crane Wife” poem especially for the ways in which it related mistreatment of animals to misogyny. The poem is narrated from the perspective of the crane wife as she struggles to address the pain of her situation and the fact that she tries to accept it. Though she as a woman and as an animal finds companionship with a man, as many woman and animals do in vastly different ways, this relationship is a cage, limiting and binding her. Throughout the piece she makes note of how she tells “[herself], there is no pain” and how she questions why she “shudder[s] with every bump and bang of the loom.” Even when she is free from the rope that binds her, she cannot help but follow the man, forgoing freedom. Not only does this poem comment on the similarities between the institutional oppression against women and the abuse against animals, it more specifically likens the physical and emotional abuse against women with the owning of animals. Like many woman in abusive relationships, the relationship is difficult to escape much like the crane’s unwillingness to fly to freedom despite the uncomfortable nature of her “marriage.” Both the ownership of a pet and the abuse of a partner seemingly stem from a place of love initially, though it is truly from a territorial place of cruelty that harms both animals and women respectively.

The Crane Wife

The Crane Wife, an old Japanese folk tale, deals with issues of misogyny, sympathetic imagination and anthropomorphism. In The Crane Wife, an old man lives a lonely life making sails, longing for someone to share his life with. The man lives as a bachelor until one day a woman comes to his home and, while the man sleeps, she begins work on a new set of sails. The woman works tirelessly for the rest of the day until finally the sails are completed. The old man decides to take the woman as a bride and they live, happily married, for a while until the man and woman were asked to make another sail. The woman reluctantly agrees to make another sail. This sail was even better than the last and was sold for double. Eventually thought the money ran out and the weaver was commissioned to make another sail. The weaver asked his wife to please make him another amazing sail and she reluctantly agreed. After three days of being locked in the room, tirelessly working, the man eventually forced open the door and saw instead of his wife, a huge crane operating the loom with her claws and pulling her own feathers out to feed the loom. The crane turned and looked at the weaver through his wife's black eyes before turning and flying out the window.
The Japanese folk tale, The Crane Wife, criticizes humans treatment of animals, more specifically the practice of using animals to improve human life with little or no regard to animal life. However, in The Crane Wife, the subjugation of animals is expressed through the weavers subjugation of his wife.  The weaver asks his wife many times to make him another sail even though he knows that she doesn't want to. When the weaver asks his wife to make the second sail she says that creating the sails "takes so much out of [her]," but despite this she makes the sail for the weaver. Animals lack the ability to say that what humans do to them in research labs, and in factory farms take so much out of these animals, often to the point of taking the animals life. In the past, and still sadly to this day, woman are expected, by some, to serve men with out question or complaint much like an animal who cannot question or complain about the treatment they receive at the hands of humans.


"The Snake" by DH Lawrence deals heavily with the intersection of speciesism through the mans interaction with the snake. Throughout the poem the narrator struggles to fight against the speciesism that has been ingrained. He has no real reason to kill the snake, yet he finds himself torn over what the right choice is. The more he tried to resist the urge to harm the snake, the more he found himself questioning if he was afraid or showing cowardice, rather than seeing himself as brave or in the right. He ends up succumbing to the ideals of speciesism, and throws a log at the snake. The narrator had no justified reason to do any harm to the snake, especially when the snake was in the process of leaving. The poem relates the consequences of the intersection of speciesism by highlighting the random and unjustified acts of violence it creates between humans and nonhuman animals. Speciesism is what gave the narrator of the poem the ability to justify his actions against the snake, even though he immediately felt regret for what he had done. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Alice Walker

"Am I Blue?" is a short story by Alice Walker about a beautiful white horse that lived on a large 5 acres of land next to her house. The horse, Blue, is left alone in the meadow for most of the time, only visited by his owners a few times a year. The narrator and her partner adored Blue and soon got into the habit of feeding him apples from a nearby apple tree in their yard. The act of feeding the animal caused the narrator to feel a childlike sense of amazement; as she used to horseback-ride as a child. She could tell by looking into his eyes that he was lonely. Here we see the narrator anthropomorphising Blue. Obviously the horse did not tell her directly that he was lonely, but she could simply tell by being around him. The narrator had "forgotten that human animals and nonhuman animals can communicate quite well." The story goes on to tell about another horse that had been dropped off at Blue's meadow, who we later find out we only sent there by a different owner to be impregnated. Once Blue's friend was pregnant, they took her back and Blue was left alone, distressed, and upset. The narrator easily notices this and feels sad for Blue because she knows he now has to go back to his sad and isolated life. Even when she would feed him apples, she could tell that he was different after having his friend taken away. The narrator feels a very strong sense of sympathetic imagination regarding Blue. She doesn't understand how some people have such a disconnection with nonhuman animals and believe that they don't suffer. She makes a powerful comparison to slavery and how white children raised by slaves, after having so much compassion for them, were able to feel so disconnected to them later in life when they either get sold to another family, or perhaps just when they learn how blacks were "supposed" to be treated. This is a perfect intersection of both speciesism and racism. By the end of the story, her relationship with Blue opened up her opinion on animal rights, how she feels for animals, and the torture that they endure then becomes extremely clear to her.

"As we talked of freedom and justice one day for all, we sat down to steaks. I am eating misery..."


My favorite reading from the quarter was "Bisclaveret" because of the perspective it provides. Its a strange sort of horror story, a Lord with all the power in the world is turned into a voiceless animal and shunned by all he knew. I like readings that switch the role of human and animal, it gives a really strong and sometime terrifying perspective on the way we treat animals. For instance, imagine the horror Bisclaveret must have felt being hunted down by the King's hounds. For a long time the fox hunt was just another Saturday morning activity, but this story tries to give voice to the silent fox.

Another telling point of the story is how value in animals is perceived. The king only spares Bisclaveret after he prostrates himself to the monarch. The king and mankind as an extension only see value in animals when they are servile and have some utility; I can't imagine the King sparing any foxes. Finally there's is something terrible about a free man turned into a grovelling slave. As a werewolf, Bisclaveret becomes a dog to the King, eating scraps and sleeping on the floor of his chamber, it really makes one examine the relationship we have with dogs and whether it is more one sided than we thought.

From Wolf to Human

I enjoyed reading the story, "St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves" the most. In the story, the sisters who work at St Lucy's Home try to convert the wolves into acting like human girls. This story addresses the issue of the intersection of speciesism. In several parts of the story, the wolves are jealous of Jeanette because she acts the most like a human. They hate her because she is most appreciated by the sister teachers while everyone else is forced and punished to work harder to stop acting wolf-like. "Speciesism is the idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals." The narrator, Claudette, tries her hardest to convert into being a human being because she does not want to disappoint the sisters, her parents, and herself. This causes her to turn her back on Mirabella, who has the hardest time converting to being human. Claudette has transformed herself from a wolf into a human so much that she forgets the importance of her background as a real wolf. The story's message seems to be that being an animal such as a wolf is no good, and that it is necessary to be human. The issue of speciesism is that humans are the superior species and no other species is worthy enough. Humans deserve to have better rights than all the other animals. In this story, it appears that in order to be treated fairly and respectfully, the wolves must convert to human beings or else they have to face harsh consequences. This is related to how the real world works when animals go against what humans want from them, humans are capable of punishing and killing the ones that do not behave.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Am I Blue?

The short story "Am I Blue?" highlights the complex relationship between humans and animals due to the anthropomorphic properties it possesses. The goal of this writing style is to convey the emotions of sadness and anger from the horse to the humans that display speciesism by denying Blue many key elements for a horse's happiness. Taking away his mate after only a short time meant devastation for Blue and, to him, signified that his life had lost purpose. The audience connects with Blue because they understand what sadness, anger, and confusion feel like and know the pain associated with those emotions. This makes the audience pity the horse for the awful experiences he goes through. This spawns thoughts about what all animals are feeling about things humans view and humane and normal and whether they should continue the practice. For added measure the author also includes a comparison of losing his mate to that of a slave losing their partner to death or the slave trade. This examples also permits the audience to understand the pain the horse felt at that moment and this allows the institution of horse-owning to be questioned.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Prompt #6

For your blog posts this week (due May 30), I would like you all to:

1. Choose the primary reading (story or poem) you enjoyed the most.
2. Briefly analyze how it comments on the complex relationship between humans and animals. In your analysis, you can choose to engage with any of the issues we have discussed in lecture or which have been brought up in the readings, such as: the importance of the sympathetic imagination, the ethics of animal testing or of anthropomorphism, or the intersection of speciesism, misogyny, and racism.

You can opt to focus on a specific passage rather than attempting to tackle the entire text if you choose one of the longer ones.

The Panther Translation

The first translation of The Panther by Leonard Cottrell is powerful with the way it portrays the usually strong, fast, and intelligent animal, as very bored and weak in captivity. The panther's stride is described as "strong and supple" suggesting that the animal is still its powerful self, with his "noble will" that is still present within it. Then at the end of  the poem, it says "Along a nerve, awareness darts -/ arriving in his heart, it dies." At this moment, the panther completely loses his strength and spirit and it "darts" away from the panther and dies.

The second translation by A.S. Kline is much more emotionally powerful due to the words Kline chooses to describe the panther and its life in captivity. He delves more deeply into the animal's head and tries to make the audience feel what the panther is feeling and think what the panther is thinking. Kline does a good job in doing this, because by the end of it, you are left feeling sad for the panther; maybe even guilty for enjoying the zoo so much as a child. As opposed to the first translation, the panther now sees "no world" behind the bars of his cage, which seem like thousands because he can't stop pacing back and forth. Kline describes its empty restlessness as "the dance of force about a centre,/ In which a greater will stands paralysed." To the panther, his whole existence is purposeless because there is no longer hope of a world beyond its prison. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Panther: Cottrell vs, Kline

    In Leonard Cottrell's translation of The Panther, the reader gets a sense of a person observing a panther in a zoo - given that he says the panther is behind bars. The poem is very matter of factual and sounds as if the observer is just stating the movements of the panther, which he describes with strong physical features. He only really begins to mention emotion of the panther towards the end of the poem, where he says that the panther "...stands there numb.." Even in the last four verses, where it talks about the heart, Cottrell chooses to use words that do not emit much emotion but are again, more or less stating facts.

    In contrast to Cottrell, A.S. Kline translates The Panther using words that evoke much more emotion from the reader. Instead of simply stating what the panther is doing, he attempts to translate to us what the panther is thinking. Of course, we can never know what he is actually thinking, but Kline interprets what he could be thinking using his movements. For example, pacing in front of the bars make the panther "wearied" instead of just "a empty stare", as Cottrell puts it. Kline also uses much more adjectives when describing the panther, which allows the reader to better envision the animal they are reading about. In my opinion, this makes Kline's version of The Panther a much better read than Cottrell's.

Less Acurate, More Powerful

In class we were told that the second translation of The Panther was the more acurate version, though because of the differently arranged or replaced words, i feel like the first version conveys a stronger attitude of hopelessness and emptiness.

Let's start with the first two lines of the two translations. In the second translation, it states "His gaze is so wearied from the bars passing by, that it can hold no more." The first translation says "The weary passage of these bars has made his gaze and empty stare." The first translation takes the weariness conveyed in the moment and applies it to the motion of the bars rather than the Panther. This not only creates a tired atmosphere, but it also allows him to expand on the Panther's feelings. He choses the word Empty and changes the gaze into a stare. Emptiness is a far more powerful emotion than weariness as it conveys more than being tired. Instead of weary, the Panther is presented as being reduced to a blank void. There is nothing inside him, and we can gather that this weary environment caused this emptiness.

This void inside the Panther is exemplified further along in the poem. In the last stanza, both poems talk about something entering the panther's mind. In the second translation, it is simply an image. In the first, it is awareness. Awareness, in the context of the poem, is a much more powerful and potent term that really displays the panthers absence. The one thing that briefly flashes in his mind before vanishing counters the emptiness from earlier. It makes us believe thre is still hope for him to be conscious, to have some sense of life. Just as we think that, it dies inside of him and he reverts back to his empty, unaware self. It's far more powerful than the vague image of the second translation.

The Panther

In the first translation of "The Panther" written by Leonard Cottrell, the bars block the panther's gaze, forcing him to believe that "behind them nothing's there." Eventually, he runs around and his fast speed comes back to him, but is "numb" because he's trapped behind the bars and can't run free. He closes his eyes. Realizing that his life will never be the same, his heart "dies" in pain by the reality in which he now lives in.
Contrary to the first translation, the translation by A.S. Kline highlights the panther's awareness of his captivity, mentioning that his gaze is "wearied" from the bars. Because of the abundance of bars, he understands that he is trapped. Out of boredom, he runs around in circles, but his "greater will" is diminished, meaning that he can't do any more than just that. Sometimes when he goes to sleep, he pictures his past and is reminded that his old life is "gone."
Both of the poem translations are relatively similar. They both touch on the topic of the Panther's disbelief on his current confinement, which prevents him from running free. The main difference is that in the first one, the panther's view is blocked by the bars; while in the second one, the panther is tired from seeing only the bars. Another difference is that the panther in the first translation isn't truly aware of his situation as a captive. It seems as if he is accustomed to being captive and forgot about his past, leaving him unmotivated and his heart emotionally dead. In the other translation, the panther seems to be more nostalgic about his life when he was free. When he falls asleep, he keeps seeing his life as a free panther and knows that that life has been stolen away from him.

Animal Welfare Act

I really enjoyed reading this article for a few reasons.
1) It ties in with the Animal Testing video we watched on Wednesday
2) it ties in with some of the stories that we've read that questioned do animals deserve the same rights as humans?
The quote that specifically made me think of "Is a Dolphin a Person", was "As animals have no capacity for laws or moral judgement, I do not believe that they deserve equal rights to humans; but I do believe that they deserve equal treatment". Midgley constantly questions what exactly is a person, where do we draw the line, can they talk, can they reason? I feel like this article kind of questions the same ideas. At the end of the article, the writer even mentions morality and how this treatment of animals is unethical and as does Midgley at the end of "Is a Dolphin a Person". She says, "We seem to have reached the situation where the law will have to be changed, because it shocks morality". This article isnt just an article, its actually a petition to "End Animal Testing Once and For All- Amend the Animal Welfare Act". So, if you support ending animal testing I highly recommend signing the petition. I have attached the link below.


I have never been a big meat eater, in fact, I have almost never liked red meat but I do enjoy fish and chicken. I've always dabbled with the idea of becoming a vegetarian and I think the video we watched on Wednesday really hit home for me. Watching what animals have to go through to feed me disgusts me and makes me sick to my stomach. So, as of yesterday morning I decided to become somewhat of a vegetarian. I think I will still eat fish every once in a while but I don't like the idea of eating actual meat anymore. This article summarizes five reasons why becoming a vegetarian is  a good choice. The one that really got me was "If you wouldn't consider eating a dog, you shouldn't consider eating pig".  Side note: pigs are actually very intelligent animals. That is why I chose to put the cooked dog in my post it disgusts me. I am not writing this post to convince you to become a vegetarian but more of an insight as to why I and other vegetarians choose to live this way. The link to the article is listed below.

The Panther

In the first translation, Cottrell’s word choice suggests that the panther has chosen to ignore his surroundings.

The weary passage of these bars
has made his gaze an empty stare:
as if the bars were all there are
and that behind them nothing’s there.
Along a nerve, awareness darts -
arriving in his heart, it dies.

The panther’s gaze is described as empty and unseeing, as though his mind his not fully present and is instead daydreaming. He has numbed himself to reality and refuses to accept it. The last two lines suggest that even when the panther is reminded of his captivity, he ignores it and lets the thought die before it can be fully processed.

In the second translation, Kline uses many descriptive to exaggerate how the panther is feeling. The panther’s gaze is so wearied from behind the thousand bars. His powerful, supple stride, that draws him round in tightened circles, is like the dance of force. His will is paralysed, and his limbs are tense and arrested. His translation provides a different perspective of how the panther feels about his captivity. Instead of distancing himself from reality, this panther has accepted it and feels defeated.


A: Analyze the first translation of "The Panther" (by Cottrell) and contrast it with your reading of the second, which we went over in class. How do the differences in how it is worded/translated affect the poem's overall meaning and impact on the reader? Support with textual evidence.

       In the first translation by Leonard Cottrell, the author describes the panther's sadness by writing, "his heart, it dies". Although this author describes that the panther's heart died,  Kline described that his heart is gone. It feels that as if it is worse to have the heart "gone" than have the heart dead because when a soul is gone- it is all ready dead. 

      The second translation by A.S. Kline, the author describes the pain the panther feels. The author uses words like "inside his heart, gone to describe that the panther has lost its connection to the wild. The panther has lost its inner wild and is sad because it has become domesticated. The reader can sympathize for the panther because it lost part of who he was.

  Overall both translation describe that part of the panther is gone because it is behind bars. The panther has no hope in becoming wild again and is depressed because "behind the thousand bars, no world." The author describes that behind the bars, there is no life. In addition, this quote can mean that even if the panther was set free, he has all ready lost part of him. The panther is lifeless. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015


In "The Jaguar," other animals are actively mentioned - apes, tigers, humans and otherwise - in the zoo and are portrayed as static and lazy.  This is meant to contrast against the movements of the jaguar that has "wilderness of freedom" in his every step.  While the other animals are only compared to fire and the sun to show how degraded they are "the parrots shriek as if they were on fire... to attract the stroller with the nut," the jaguar has an inner fire, a "short fierce fuse" that makes him explosive and dangerous.  The jaguar does not acknowledge his imprisonment, "there's no cage to him," as his mind is off in the horizon and far away from the zoo.  
In comparison, "A Second Glance at a Jaguar" does not mention other beings, but goes much further into the mindset and movement of the jaguar.  The jaguar is moving, but it does not seem as smooth and elegant as the first poem.  Instead we read a jarring "hip going in and out of joint," and "his body is just the engine shoving it forward" expresses his movements like a machine but remains powerful.  Again there is fire imagery, with an inner rage that his kept alight and his head being carried "like a brazier of spilling embers." In this poem the jaguar is more in the mindset of an inherent and violent being, as he is compared to an Aztec disemboweller and a gangster, repeating a "drum-song of murder."  This seems to keep him as himself, as he is shown to be more aware of his imprisonment; the jaguar is "wearing himself to heavy ovals" and his movements have made a polished spot on the floor from his relentless pacing.  His body no longer seems like his own because his body had to adjust to the cage: "his head is like the worn down stump of another whole jaguar."  Yet "he coils, he flourishes" shows that he is still the main attraction to the watchers because he will always be an impressive hunter.

A Second Glance at a Jaguar

"The Second Glance at a Jaguar" gives a very different perspective of the jaguar compared to the first poem. In the first poem "The Jaguar", the jaguar is presented as an unending energy source, fueled by anger over his imprisonment behind bars. The jaguar in the first poem is represented as not seeing the cage that locks him in, but rather he is free inside of his mind. When compared to the rest of the animals in the first poem he is the only one to have not given up, he is still fighting for freedom. This is shown in line 19, "His stride is wilderness of freedom".
The second poem about the jaguar takes a much more realistic stance. In "The Second Glance at a Jaguar" the jaguar appears much more defeated, he has clearly been doing this dance for some time now and it is wearing on him. This is shown in lines 17 through 19, "His head Is like the worn down stump of another whole jaguar, His body is just the engine shoving it forward". The constant anger the jaguar is keeping up is taking a toll on him, and this poem represents a much deeper examination of the jaguar himself. In the first poem we are only presented with a snapshot of the jaguar, an image that the casual passerby would be subjected to. In the second we see the realistic side to the jaguars nonstop movement back and forth in his cell, how he is stuck in the rhythm of his movements, knowing that they will lead him no where.
What is prevalent in both poems is that anger that the jaguar carries inside of him. In both it is this anger that continues to drive him around and around the cage, "Muttering some mantrah, some drum-song of murder To keep his rage brightening," (lines 25-26). It is rage that propels him to continue to move, to avoid the lethargy and indifference that has infected the rest of the caged animals in the zoo.

"The Jaguar" and "A Second Glance at a Jaguar"

In "The Jaguar" all of the zoo animals are being portrayed as lazy, yawning and lying still in the sun. The sun is beating down in the animals consuming their energy. But, when the jaguar is being described, it is hurrying and moving around the cage. He seems to have a fire inside of him fueling him instead of consuming him. He has not accepted his captivity like the rest of the zoo animals, but rather, "there's no cage to him more than to the visionary his cell." He seems to have hope about a different life and even though his physical body is confined, his soul and mind are not contained within the cell.
In "A Second Glance at a Jaguar" the physical movement of the jaguar is described more compared to in "The Jaguar" which focuses more on the cats internal thoughts. In "A Second Glance at a Jaguar" the jaguar is described as powerful and ready to make a kill, but being in a cage has taken a toll on the animal. The jaguar is described as "going on like a prayer-wheel, the head dragging forward, the body keeping up, the hind legs lagging." There is nothing stimulating in the cage for the jaguar and he is described as a machine just going through the motions. But, his internal instincts are strong and would take over in any situation, similar to the jaguar in the "The Jaguar" who is still in touch with his wild side.

"The Jaguar" v. "A Second Glance at a Jaguar"

While both Edward Hughes’ poems “The Jaguar” and “A Second Glance at a Jaguar” examine the life and nature of a jaguar in captivity, they approach the subject in different ways. The most evident overarching distinction between the two is the perspective. Though both are narrated in the third person, “The Jaguar” seems to be from a perspective outside the jaguar’s cage but still within the zoo. The narrator first observes the other animals, describing how “the apes yawn” and “the parrots shriek.” They go on to note the jaguar’s audience of zoo attendees who “stands, stares, mesmerized, / As a child at a dream…” Only then does the narrator describe the jaguar’s anger and the “wilderness of freedom” that characterizes his liberating run throughout the cage. “A Second Glance at a Jaguar” however, positions the narrator alongside the Jaguar, vividly describing the motion of his body and its trajectory, stating “the hip going in and out of joint, dropping the spin with the urgency of his hurry” and noting that “at every stride he has to turn a corner.” The entire poem focuses on the jaguar himself exclusively, with no mention of the zoo or its attendees.
            “A Second Glance”, while observing the jaguar more thoroughly, also makes more allusions to the jaguar being like a machine as well as tools of human violence. Hughes heavily focuses on the components of the jaguar that hold it together noting his “hip going in and out of joint”, him “trying to grind some square /socket between his hind legs round”, and him “swiveling the ball of his heel.” He also makes direct mechanical comparisons, calling the jaguar’s body “the engine shoving it forward.” On the other hand, he also compares the jaguar to vehicles of human violence like “a thick Aztec disemboweller, / club-swinging” or comparing his tail to a “Gangster club.”

            In comparison, “The Jaguar” simply emphasizes how the jaguar’s inner anger and aggression allowing him to transcend the confines of his cage. Here he is described as having a “short fierce fuse. Not in boredom.” Hughes then suggests that “there’s no cage to him” because his “stride is wilderness of freedom.”

Behind The Bars

The first translation of “The Panther” suggests that all the panther can see are the bars in front of him, as if there was no life outside of these bars. The panther takes long and large strides around the cage as if he is full of power, yet he is numb to all of it. Every now and then a quick burst of awareness passes by him, and for a moment he knows where he is and what is happening. Soon after it comes it goes, and the awareness he once had dies and he is left numb again.

In the second translation of “The Panther” the panther is not aware of his captivity at all. To him, there is absolutely no world outside of those bars. His pace is more soft, yet still powerful, compared to the first translation of the panther. He walks in small conservative and shy circles rather than large strides like the first panther. In this translation the panther never has any recognition of where he is or the fact that there is life outside of the bars. The images that enter through his eyes quickly leave and he is left with little to no hope.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Another look at the Jaguar

The "Second Glance at the Jaguar" is characterized by a very different use of language than the original "Jaguar" piece. The imagery in the former is much more brutal and barbaric sounding. Instead of focusing on the internal freedom of the jaguar, the animal is portrayed as a machine. The animal is "Carrying his head like a brazier of spilling embers" whereas in the first Jaguar piece, the animal was described as having a "stride of wilderness and freedom". Also in the original Jaguar story, the entire zoo is described rather than just the one animal. The second glance paints the jaguar as a creature from hell that is very much just an engine. The grace that was associated with the jaguar in the original is now gone, replaced by crude verbiage and intense images of brutality. The second glance does nothing to analyze what the jaguar's mental state is as is discussed in the first story. The second glance suggests that the free minded animal from the first story is actually just another dangerous predator from which fear should arise. The two stories do share the similarity of describing the jaguar as a very powerful creature, unable to  be contained by zoo or underworld or cage. By combining the different views from each story, a fairly full picture of the true jaguar inside and out as perceived by onlookers and prey is realized. No matter which story you look at, it is very clear that this animal is not one with which people should mess.

Textual Analysis

In the poem "A Second Glance at a Jaguar" the author, Edward Hughes, expands more on the way a jaguar moves as opposed to what a jaguar thinkIn the poem "A Second Glance at a Jaguar" the author, Edward Hughes, expands more on the way a jaguar moves as opposed to what a jaguar thinks and feels. In "A Second Glance at a Jaguar," Hughes describes the movement of the jaguar by saying "the hip going in and out of the joint, dropping the spine." Hughes similar vocabulary in both poems even though they portray jaguar's very differently. In "The Jaguar," Hughes describes the jaguar's eyes as being "blind in fire" and similarly in "A Second Glance at a Jaguar" Hughes describes the eyes of the animal as "splitting embers."
These poems though similar also differ in their portrayal of jaguars. "The Jaguar," portrays the jaguar in captivity, subjugated, exploited, and desperately struggling to maintain his dignity. Hughes describes the jaguar as being in "prison darkness," which mirrors the hopeless captivity of the animal.  Hughes concludes the poem by writing "over the cage floor the horizons come" implying that the jaguar hasn't accepted his fate and and still retains his wildness.