By Arran Stibbe

Animals are disappearing, vanishing, and demise out—not simply within the actual experience of changing into extinct, yet within the feel of being erased from our awareness. more and more, interactions with animals take place at a eliminate: mediated by means of nature courses, books, and cartoons; framed via the enclosures of zoos and aquariums; distanced through the museum circumstances that reveal dead our bodies. during this thought-provoking ebook, Arran Stibbe takes us on a trip of discovery, revealing the numerous ways that language impacts our relations with animals and the flora and fauna. Animal-product manuals, tuition textbooks, ecological stories, media assurance of environmental concerns, and animal-rights polemics all as a rule painting animals as inanimate gadgets or passive sufferers. In his look for a substitute for those unfavourable sorts of discourse, Stibbe turns to the conventional tradition of Japan. inside Zen philosophy, haiku poetry, or even modern children’s lively movies, animals seem as lively brokers, major their very own lives for his or her personal reasons, and of worth in themselves.

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The death of pigs due to the diseases and injuries associated with intensive farming is rendered not as a tragedy, but as a purely economic consideration through the phrase “death loss” in the following quote: In large continuous flow operations . . death loss and the number of chronically ill poor-doing pigs that result may be quite high. (pih 2002: 141) The use of the expression “death loss” avoids mentioning who died, and is used elsewhere as a euphemism for the “dead bodies of pigs” who die from illness or injury: “In a typical scenario, a bin is filled with three months death losses” (133).

Rats, snakes, dogs, and cats do not even come close, showing how deeply the pig is entrenched in British culture. 1 (a–c). 1 reveals the overwhelmingly negative attitude toward pigs expressed in everyday British English. With only a few exceptions, such as you lucky pig and happy as a pig in the mire, the expressions seem to be attributions of unpleasant or negative characteristics to a third (human) party. Examination of the context in which such expressions occur reveals presuppositions, taken-for-granted facts about the world that lie behind the expressions (Kadmon 2000, Gazdar 1978).

Housing protects animals from predators, disease and bad weather. (Animal Industry Foundation quoted in Harnack 1996: 130) Here the semantic extension of predators does not include human predators, such as the farmer, that the housing offers no protection from. This “ontological gerrymandering” (Potter 1996: 186) makes wild animals seem to be the enemy of domesticated ones, with humans their benevolent protectors. ” This can be seen in the language used in the quotation above. The euphemism “housing” is used in place of “cage,” and the five positive qualities of the “housing” are expressed directly one after another other in a list, a grammatical pattern used by real estate agents describing a desirable residence.

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