By Adrian Franklin
Animals can let us know much approximately ourselves. the way in which we adore them as pets, consume them for dinner, cause them to symbols of the country or shun them as invaders and pests illuminates a lot approximately our society and tradition. Animal country strains the advanced relationships among animals and people in Australia. It begins with the colonial period—when unusual local animals have been hunted nearly to extinction and changed with hottest species—and brings us complete circle to the current while local species are secure particularly others.
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Extra info for Animal Nation: The True Story of Animals And Australia
That sufficient reason comes from data I obtained from the first ever national survey of human–animal relations in Australia and the impression I made in focus groups with the many types of people whose lives include animals. Chapter 2 explores those extraordinary days when Australia was first seen and ‘thought’ by European visitors and settlers. It is important to understand just how profound these first impressions were going to be for the environmental history of the Australian continent. The third chapter complements the first but considers an enigma of similar proportions: how settlers and anthropologists tried to understand the relationship that Aboriginal people had with animals, a relation commonly referred to as totemism.
In this way a man can state that he is kangaroo and make perfect sense. Animals were not the only clan totems in Australia; some were plants, planets, rocks and other natural phenomena, for example water or smoke. But animals were by far the most common type of totem. Put at its bluntest, the world according to this view was governed by animal ancestors whose manifestation and power on the earth was multiple, appearing at various times as animals, humans and objects. The European worldview, by contrast, stipulated that all individual elements of creation were separable and hierarchical, with boundaries separating the major orders, such as between people and animals.
8 It was one thing to enjoy the frisson of danger during a momentary gaze, quite another to build one’s home and future with them as one’s only company. We will explore those years of insecurity, fear and disquiet in Chapter 3. But before we do, it is important to understand how Europeans and those living in Australia reacted to these anomalous animals, how the scandal of their discovery created one of the most significant scientific enigmas the world has yet seen, and how important the solution to that enigma was in understanding both the natural world, creation and evolution.
Animal Nation: The True Story of Animals And Australia by Adrian Franklin