Premium Essay

Animals and Human Culture


Submitted By jenika
Words 2475
Pages 10
Animals and Human culture

Before the 19th century, the West viewed nonhumans as being outside the legal and moral community (Francione, 2008). In this respect, how they were treated or used raised no legal or moral concern. The Western community could use nonhumans for whatever purpose they felt like, inflicting suffering and pain to whatever magnitude they wanted and no obligation owed to them would be deemed as being violated. In other words nonhumans were not distinguished from other inanimate objects and as such had no legal or moral obligations (Nikki, 2012). There are those acts that from the surface appeared as obligation towards other animals, for instance an obligation not to injure a donkey or horse that belonged to the neighbor, in actual sense we owed the obligation not to the animal but to our neighbors. Issues of moral became a concern only to the limited scope when humans who were cruel or known to subject the nonhumans to suffering were generally thought to be capable of maltreating humans. Just like the above, the obligation related to the animal in question was actually owed to the other human beings. Nonhumans were viewed as having little moral significance.

This essay will focus on Jane Goodall assertion that ‘Who are we to say that the suffering of human being is more terrible than the suffering of nonhuman being, or that it matters more’? (1990). Some scholars believe that human being suffer more as compared to the nonhuman beings and they deem the latter as things and equals them to machines. On the other hand, some scholars such as Goodall argue that humans are not unique from other nonhuman being and thus the same compassion and consideration shown to human being should also be shown to animals. This essay will focus not both sides of the argument in order to get a clear understanding of how nonhumans being are perceived.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Ancient Egypt: The Culture Of Human Interaction With Animals

...From the ancient time, human have interact with animal and use them in their normal life. We use them as pet, use them as labor forces, and raise them for food and for other usages. The similarity for some of these major cultures is they really value the animal. As for the Egyptian, they use cat as pet and treat them nicely. Other animals like cheetah and monkey are also kept as pet as a symbol of status for pharaoh and royal family. Cat would be mummified for the thought that they would join their owner in the afterlife. For the Norse, they see the animal as part of the nature and human can’t be separate from it. Human life is connecting to the animal from when they are born until they are dead. Even the animal in their literature also connect...

Words: 356 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Does Granting Animals Human Rights Make Sense?

...Does Granting Animals Human Rights Make Sense? University Does Granting Animals Human Rights Make Sense? Throughout history, there has been any number of people belonging to various groups that for one reason or another were persecuted, oppressed, or otherwise denied equality with the rest of society. Over time, these groups have either formed their own activism or received sponsorship from another group with the goal of achieving equality in the eyes of society, if not in the eyes of the law. Workers, women, minorities, and homosexuals are examples of such groups where the pursuit of what we have come to call human rights has both made history and changed society. This document will explore the question: “does granting animals human rights make sense?” While it is understood that human beings, the species Homo sapiens sapiens, are members of the animal kingdom, for the sake of this discussion use of the term “animals” will refer to those that are non-human. Much of the rhetoric emanating from the animal rights debate is highly emotionally charged. By approaching the issue from the perspective of a reasonable person, it is possible to strike a balance by ensuring the humane treatment of animals where human culture and purposes intersect with the animal kingdom. Often, the animal rights debate is referred to as though there were only two sides to the argument. One side would grant rights to animals that are equivalent to the rights humans strive to afford one another...

Words: 3079 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

Writing Sem Penn Final Portfolio

...Implications on Human Animal Relationships Unraveling the mystery of the Upper Paleolithic period is a task that proves exciting yet frustrating. Much of the culture of the Upper Paleolithic people remains unknown to modern day humans. Remnants of these people’s past can be found displayed across walls and crafted into figurines within caves throughout Western Europe. The fine art crafted by these people is impressive and reflective of their intellect. Most of the artwork found belonging to this time period depicts animals or mythical beasts. Upper Paleolithic societies had some kind of relationship with animals and studying these relationships can provide interesting information about different Upper Paleolithic cultures. Kenneth Feder, Amy Paterson and Patricia Rice, Michael Balter, and Nicholas Conrad all discuss possible implications of the artwork in their respective writing. All four sources agree that cave art provides insight into the human animal relationship of the Upper Paleolithic period. One primary relationship researchers have been working for decades to illuminate is the connection between artwork and the hunting patterns of the ancient people that made it. In their research, Rice and Paterson explore the interrelationships between cave art and bones, and try to determine what information can be extracted from them. In their report, they consider reindeer, horse, bovines, red deer, ibex, and mammoth. These animals make up over ninety percent of the animals portrayed...

Words: 1609 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Animal Stereotypes

...entertainment works feature animals as pivotal characters to help propagate their story. These anthropomorphized characters act, talk and think like humans as they obtain our abilities, personality traits, and even moral codes. So the question is why do writers resort to the personification of animals rather than making use of the traditional human form? There are many reasons for this. Most often, they want to make new characters appear more familiar to readers through animal stereotypes. Sometimes, the use of specific animals is a reference to history or culture and a gateway to deeper discussions about human society. Other times,...

Words: 1511 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

African Art

...(2005) The Yorùbá Animal Metaphors: Analysis and Interpretation ADÉSOLÁ OLÁTÉJÚ University of Ibadan, Nigeria ABSTRACT The paper undertakes a study of animal metaphors in the Yorùbá language with a view to highlighting the stylistic and communicative potentials of these metaphors. To achieve the set objective, the animals – domestic and wild – involved in metaphors and their individual distinctive characteristic features that motivate their metaphorical interpretations are highlighted. The paper also discusses the sources of animal metaphors, which are said to be located in three areas, namely: the Yorùbá naming culture, animal characteristic habits and behaviour, and the Yorùbá poetry. In discussing the metaphorical processes involved in the interpretation of animal-related metaphors, a two-dimensional approach is adopted: stylistic and cultural. In the first, the semantic features of animals involved in metaphors are decomposed into semantic markers that are of two types. The first is the High Priority Semantic Markers (HPSM), which determine the cognitive/conceptual meaning of the metaphors, and the second is the Low Priority Semantic Markers (LPSM), which determine the secondary metaphorical interpretation. Animal metaphors involve transference of meanings, and whatever meanings or interpretations are assigned to a particular animal metaphor, are culture and context dependent. The paper concludes with stylistic and communicative functions of animal metaphors, with the...

Words: 6152 - Pages: 25

Premium Essay

Persuasive Speech On Animal Testing

...Have you ever wondered that animal testing has contributed to many medical breakthroughs in our lifetime? For my 1st claim I would like to address that us U.S citizens and people around the globe should consider animal testing because it has contributed to many life-saving cures and treatments for the people in need. According to an article on, this article states that “nearly every medical breakthrough in the last 100 years has resulted directly from research using animals”. This evidence shows that animal testing has contributed to a majority of the medical breakthroughs in people’s lifetime. Also from the article on, it states, “the polio vaccine, tested on animals, reduced the global currency of the disease from 350,000...

Words: 635 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Social Psychology

...and culture. Provide an example. To me there isn’t a big difference in social behavior and culture. Social behavior is behavior directed towards society, or taking place between members of the same species. An example of social behavior would be not cursing in public. Culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next. One example of culture is All Souls’ Day where festivities are celebrated on November 1st and 2nd in Mexico. It is also celebrated in other countries but mostly Mexico. Although they are very similar they are not the same. How does culture influence human behavior? How does nature influence human behavior? Provide an example of each. Culture is prominent role in how we interact with people. The place where we’ve grown up is influencing our approach to others. Nonverbal communication aids in the influence of culture to human behavior. According to the culture we belong to, gestures, space distance from you to other people, and physical contact may vary a lot. One example are individuals from independent cultures, such as the United States, tend to value autonomy, uniqueness, freedom, and right to self-expression; whereas individuals from interdependent cultures, such as Japan, tend to prize social harmony, conformity, and adherence to group norms. Nature influences human behavior...

Words: 432 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Sexuality and Culture

...Sexuality and Culture Sexuality pervades various aspects of human life and culture. While most other members of the animal kingdom confine the object of sexuality to mere reproduction, humans go up to a higher level. This sets them apart from the animal kingdom. This makes human to be the highest form of nature. Sexuality is judged by practical standards. Among humans, it is not considered a weakness. Rather it is considered a most beautiful adaptive trait. While other animals have conditions for mating, like being able to mate once or twice a year only, humans on the other hand are incredibly adaptable in their mating rituals. Such cultural adaptation is indeed very typical for humans. This brings us to realize that the very essence of culture is dependent on our sense of self. As evolved organisms, humans are driven to reproduce. The drive is not merely a reaction to the environment. Rather, it is human instinct. Without sex or reproduction, the very essential presence of society, culture, art and would be non-existent for through reproduction, procreation takes place. Indeed, it is important that we understand its true meaning and why it is a part of the society. Awareness of one’s personal actions can attribute on how well a person can accept and truly understand sexuality and his culture, Understanding is always the key in accepting things that are difficult to perceive and understand. Sexuality and a person’s culture must be understood to better live a life that...

Words: 373 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Cherokee with the American Indians, there were numerous of unique indigenous cultures that have been uniquely formed by their landscapes and history. A tribe’s language, worldviews, knowledge and religion come from their local lands, shaping them to be who they are. Though every American Indian tribe has the belief of bringing harmony, respect and balance amongst the human community and the natural world, each illustrates these beliefs differently depending ones cultural values, knowledge and worldviews. American Indian tribes can differ from one another in many ways relating to ceremonies, prayers, songs, medicine, and other rituals, expressing their own unique cultural values. Their homelands, as well as the mountains, caves, and rivers all carry some kind of symbolic meanings and purposes relating to their culture understanding. For instance, the Yaqui tribe is known to perform deer songs and dances, a central ritual within their culture, that allows them to spiritually be, live, connect or communicate with one’s universe (Evers and Molina). Whereas for another tribe, such as the Tewa, perform their own unique rituals. The Cherokee tribe is one of the many indigenous tribes in North America that have been shaped by their local landscape and history. Like every American Indian tribe, the Cherokee consists of many different cultural worldviews, traditions, and beliefs that brought them to express their culture in their own way. In this paper, I will present several important beliefs...

Words: 1635 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...Culture and Socialization Learning to be Human Understanding Cause & Effect •  Correlation - the existence of a regular relationship between two sets of occurrences or variables. •  Causation - a relationship in which one event or situation brings about the other. •  Correlation does not imply causation. But a causal relationship must mean that two variables are correlated. Sociological Imagination •  The more we understand what is happening in the world, the more frustrated we often become, for our knowledge leads to feelings of powerlessness. We feel that we are living in a world in which the citizen has become a mere spectator or a forced actor, and that our personal experience is politically useless and our political will a minor illusion (Mills 1959) Macro argument. Chapter 3 Culture & Society The Concepts of Culture  Culture - The values the members of a given group hold, the norms they follow, and the material goods they create.  Values - abstract ideals. For example, monogamy is a prominent value in most Western societies.  Norms - definite principles or rules people are expected to observe  Society - a system of relationships that connects individuals who share the same culture. The Concepts of Culture  Culture and society are closely related. Cultural variations among humans are linked to different types of society.  No culture could exist without a society; equally, no society could exist without culture. The Concepts of Culture  Ethnocentrism – judging...

Words: 1615 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Multicultural Societies In Chinatown

...Kim’s talk. Afterwards, I pondered on how humans treat animals, cultural imperialism or what she calls a “multi optic vision”; which I interpreted as a multicultural vision, from her 2nd book, Dangerous Crossings. Kim is a vegan who also is against animal cruelty, but her talk centered on the issues that confound multicultural societies. During her talk, Kim told the complex story of San Francisco’s Chinatown and briefly discussed stereotyping. In Chinatown there was a debate on the sale of live food due to animal cruelty concerns. When this issue surfaced, Chinese people claimed that they were being unfairly targeted and had become victims of cultural imperialism. Kim specified that the local media and bio-xenophobic politicians were partly...

Words: 642 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Why Is Animal Testing Unethical

...Animal testing is defined as “the use of non-human animals in research and development projects, especially for purposes of determining the safety of substances such as food or drugs” (“Animal Testing”). Unfortunately, some cosmetic companies treat animals unethically during testing; this brings into question whether or not the practice of animal testing can be considered ethical, or even necessary, in regards to cosmetic purposes. Those with pro-animal testing views may argue that the practice of testing cosmetics on animals is necessary for human safety, however, with modern advances in technology, there are now more options for alternatives than ever before. With support from major companies and governments, alternatives to animal testing could potentially become the standard in the near future. Those who support animal testing argue that animal testing in cosmetics is necessary to ensure that the product is safe for human use. They argue that “there is no adequate alternative to testing on a living whole-body system” (“Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing”), and this is why “animals are appropriate research subjects because . . . animals and humans are so biologically similar” (“Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing”). Humans are biologically similar to animals in...

Words: 1363 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Analysis of Ethnocentrism Avatar

...Analysis of Ethnocentrism in Avatar In the film Avatar, Jake Sully, a human, mentally controls a body that contains cells of the Na’vi natives from the planet, Pandora, and he attempts to learn the culture of the Na’vi. In a long run, the effect of being exposed to enthnocentrism, primitivism, romanticism and exoticism, could have changed Jakes’s decision from helping the humans to helping and living with the Na’vi. The aim of this essay is to explore enthinocentrism and its three areas: the primitive lives of the Na’vi, Na’vi’s romanticism with nature, and the exoticism of Pandora’s features and its inhabitants. Ethnocentrism is the view of one’s own culture to be superior and normal over the other culture (Lundberg, 2013). To the humans, they view the Na’vi as “blue monkey” (Cameron & Laudau, 2009), and are disrespectful towards their culture. The Na’vi also show the same attitude towards humans, where Eytukan, the clan leader, said that Jake has an “alien smell” (Cameron & Laudau, 2009). The humans view the trees as merely just an obstacle, whereas the Na’vi valued the trees deeply, where they believe that the trees are sacred, and were used to communicate and worship their mother goddess, Eywa. In turn, both sides think of each other as inferior and uncultured creatures from their contrast of their own beliefs. Primitivism is the view of another culture that is less developed, evolutionary and technologically (Lundberg, 2013). A scene where the Na’vi gives the impression...

Words: 673 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Lion Whisperer

...Embrace: A Critique of Anthropomorphic Animals “We humans seem to have admired Lions, and feared them and worshipped their nobility and strength for thousands of years” (Joubert, 2012, pg. 1). Nearly every human being has some sort of attraction to animals; whether it is their pet, a stuffed animal, or a fictional character. This human attraction to animals is common and natural, because it gives humans the satisfaction of interacting with another species in a playful manner. Kevin Richardson, otherwise known as “The Lion Whisperer” takes this human attraction to an entirely new level. Richardson is famous for rescuing and raising twenty-seven adopted lions from a game reserve in Johannesburg, South Africa. These lions were soon to be killed by hunters before Kevin Richardson stepped in and relocated these lions to his own land. He treats his felines as if they were equals, often wrestling, playing, and embracing them as if they were humans or as if he was a lion. For viewers these actions might be initially seen as incredible, witnessing a human interact so passionately with the King of the Jungle. Richardson states he is able to do this because he treats each individual lion differently, speaking to them, caressing them and, above all, treating them with respect (Roberts, 2007, p. 1). This relationship is a form of anthropomorphism, or giving animals human characteristics. The story of Kevin Richardson relates to many other cat human relationships that have been circulated...

Words: 2332 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

The Creation

...and through the cultures has significant differences. The concept of creation that I’m most familiar with come from the bible, Genesis: Chapter 1-3. However during my recent studies on creation myths, I’ve learned many others. A common theory of the earth started is reflected in the bible and occurred within six days. Creation myths are beliefs and stories on the earliest beginnings of the world. Oral traditions throughout the different cultures are regarded as truth for the “creation” and served as the historical reference we know today. Common element s of creation myths begin with a birth, a supreme being, human and animals and instructions from the creator. Almost all cultures have at least if not all these elements in the creation myths but vary to some degree. Every revolving culture has developed creation myths centered on historical interpretation, factual events and cultural influence however the African Bushmen and the Egyptian’s are similar on morals however different in the creation. All creation myths consist of a supreme being of some kind or form. The being is not always represent but is importance is just as equal. The Greek and the Japanese show gods and goddesses, whereas the Aborigines had to supreme beings: Father of All Spirits and the Sun Mother.(Murtagh). The Japense also has two gods Izanagi and Izanami which served as the creators of earths and the offspring becoming the people of Japan.(Murtagh) The Supreme Being in many cultures was responsible...

Words: 702 - Pages: 3