Living with Animals is a collection of imagined animal guides—a playful and accessible look at different human-animal relationships around the world. Anthropologists and their co-authors have written accounts of how humans and animals interact in labs, in farms, in zoos, and in African forests, among other places. Modeled after the classic A World of Babies, an edited collection of imagined Dr. Spock manuals from around the world—With Animals focuses on human-animal relationships in their myriad forms.
This is ethnographic fiction for those curious about how animals are used for a variety of different tasks around the world. To be sure, animal guides are not a universal genre, so Living with Animals offers an imaginative solution, doing justice to the ways details about animals are conveyed in culturally specific ways by adopting a range of voices and perspectives. How we capitalize on animals, how we live with them, and how humans attempt to control the untamable nature around them are all considered by the authors of this wild read.
If you have ever experienced a moment of "what if" curiosity—what is it like to be a gorilla in a zoo, to work in a pig factory farm, to breed cows and horses, this book is for you. A light-handed and light-hearted approach to a fascinating and nuanced subject, Living with Animals suggests many ways in which we can and do coexist with our non-human partners on Earth.
With Animals: An Introduction
Part One: Fieldwork
1. Yuendumu Dog Tales
2. How to Build Rapport with Cats and Humans
3. The Perils of Deference: How Not to Habituate Spotted Hyenas in an Ethiopian Town
4. How to Study Chimpanzees That Are Terrified of You: Adventures in Ethnoprimatology in West Africa
Part Two: Communication
5. Walking with Dogs: Sharing Meaning, Sensation, and Inspiration across the Species Boundary
6. Working with a Service Dog in the United States
7. How to Protect Yourself from the Dead with Cattle
8. How to Release Viruses from Birds: A Field Guide for Virus Hunters, Buddhist Monks, and Birdwatchers
Part Three: Commodities
10. How to Act Industrial around Industrial Pigs
11. Making Babies with Cows
12. How to Make a Horse Have an Orgasm
Part 4: Science
13. Healing with Leeches
14. How to Be a Systematist
15. Becoming a Research Rodent
16. The Business: A Ferret's Guied to the Lab Life
Part Five: Conservation
17. Read, Respond, Rescue
18. How to Care for a Park with Birds: Birdwatchers' Ecologies in Buenos Aires
19. Introducing Zoo Gorillas
"Porter and Gershon deftly position this collection in a long-running tradition of reflection on ethnographic fieldwork that will make it recognizable to academics who’ve yet to be drawn into multispecies research but are curious what all the fuss is about. Living with Animals makes a significant contribution to the field by providing much-needed guidance on how to pursue such lines of inquiry, while also advancing the "species turn" in a variety of intriguing directions."
John Hartigan, Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin, and author of Care of the Species: Cultivating Biodiversity in Mexico and Spain
"Contributors to this collection explore the tensions, joys and contradictions of becoming human with other animals. While a range of styles enliven this volume and make it a pleasure to read, the authors’ commitments to unsettling assumptions about species difference will keep you thinking for years to come."
Laura Ogden, author of Swamplife: People, Gators, and Mangroves Entangled in the Everglades
"Living with Animals is a marvelously creative book. Imaginative, moving, and knowledgable, featuring the exciting and at times provocative work of both well-known and emerging scholars, all of whom were willing to take on a new challenge of "writing otherwise." The result is a highly readable, highly teachable book that made me laugh and cry and think."
Jane Desmond, Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and author of Displaying Death and Animating Life