The Animal That Therefore I Am

young barn owl elisabeth frinkYoung Barn Owl, Dame Elisabeth Jean Frink (1930 – 1993)

 

To put all living things that aren’t human into one category is, first of all, a stupid gesture – theoretically ridiculous – and partakes in the very real violence that humans exercise towards animals.

Confined within this catch-all concept, within this vast encampment of the animal,
in this general singular, within the strict enclosure of this definite article (‘the Animal’ and not ‘animals’), as in a virgin forest, a zoo, a hunting or fishing ground, a paddock or an abattoir, a space of domestication,
are all the living things that man does not recognize as his fellows, his neighbors, or his brothers.
And that is so in spite of the infinite space that separates the lizard from the dog, the protozoon from the dolphin, the shark from the lamb, the parrot from the chimpanzee, the camel from the eagle, the squirrel from the tiger, the elephant from the cat, the ant from the silkworm, or the hedgehog from the echidna.

The confusion of all nonhuman living things within the general and common category of the animal is not simply a sin against rigorous thinking, vigilance, lucidity, or empirical authority, it is also a crime.


Jackie Élie Derrida (1930 – 2004)
(Jacques Derrida)

 


–Thanks to Kieran Suckling for bringing this work of Derrida to my attention–

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/action/alerts/

 

De Kat en Den Úÿl en Muziek

labotz cal owl & pussycat18th century calligraphy drawing by Jacob Labotz, schoolteacher

 

My musical friend, at whose house I am now visiting, has tried all the owls that are his near neighbors with a pitch-pipe set at concert pitch, and finds they all hoot in B flat.
He will examine the nightingales next spring.

Gilbert White (1720 – 1793), from The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne

 

The Little Owl

durer-owlAlbrecht Dürer  (May 1471 – April 1528)

Published in: on January 26, 2014 at 6:44 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

People from a Planet Without Flowers

Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528)

 

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.

Iris Murdoch,  A Fairly Honourable Defeat

 

“Mad with joy” is a condition of childhood and rare. It’s  foolish to hope for, even one more time.

But attentively presiding over the accumulation of cells in a cup of dirt– sensing seeds grow fat & moist and shift & sprout–we’re stirred by potential.  And the power to scatter jewels around like a sorceress is exhilarating–and limitless.