Oorsprong, verleden en toekomst van onze huisdieren

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Oorsprong, verleden en toekomst van onze huisdieren
Relation Human-Animal in
Historical Perspective
E. Decuypere
20/5/2014
Motivation in the past:
increased animal production and productivity
New signal:
“cheap and safe food but not at any cost”
concern/threatening by the public:
 nature of food; food safety?
 are the new (bio)technologies applicable to man?
 animal welfare?
 predominance of economics?
After World War II




production
efficiency of production
stock or herd size, farm dimension
specialisation, mechanisation
Reaction on industrialisation, specialisation and mechanisation
From animal-machine
Animals as living and sensible beings
Utilitarian approach of animal welfare
Pathocentrism: animal liberation (1975, P. Singer)
Zoocentrism (T. Regan)
condemnation / rejection of animal husbandry or any
instrumental use of animals in its most extreme form
Human ~ Animal relation in the Middle Ages
in Europe
Animals:
- part of the living environment of man (food, energy, mobility)
- part of the town image (St. Anthony and his pig)
- referring to a higher reality, to the divine:
“The nature of things”
“The book of divine works”
“Book about the nature of things”
Peter Damianus (1072)
H. Van Bingen (1179)
Thomas van Cantimpré (1240)
translated by J. Van Maerlant (± 1270)
“Adam geeft de dieren een naam”
– Bestiarium, Engeland (ca 1200)
Uit ‘De papegaai van de paus. Mens en
dier in de Middeleeuwen’ van Raymond
van Uytven
The human:
“Coninc es der creaturen” from the tale of the biblic creation story
―› antropocentrism
However man and animals belong to the same and unique creation (Carmina
cante brigiensia (11th century), Dirk van Assenede (13th century), E.
Deschamps (15th century))
↓
antropomorfism
↓
animal before court
Reaction by Th. Van Aquino (1274) and his argumentation later used by
Bartholomeus Anglicus, R. Bacon (1294) and later also by Descartes
―› mechanistic view on animals: “les animaux machines”
Relative values between animals and between
man and animals
“Weergelden”
Kingdom of the Franks (ca 630) England (ca 1000)
(in shillings)
(in pennies)
pregnant woman
bishop
priester
deacon
monk
falcon
horse
mare
ox
cow
700
300
200
100
50
12
7
3
2
1
man
horse
mare
ox
cow
sheep
pig
goat
240
360
240
30
24
12
8
2
Prices of animals in Antwerp (in flemish “groot”)
1375 – 1400
1451 – 1452
heron
7
sheep (ram) 32
pig
62
riding horse 918
ox
1080
parade horse 1500 – 2000
goose
sheep
lean pig
fattening pig
cow
ox
6
11
34
93
100 – 200
471
daily wage
daily wage
8
7–9
Involvement of man in the Middle Ages with
animal world
•
•
•
•
•
•
family names
place names
signboard
weaponry and emblems
flags
nicknames
Antropomorphic interpretation of animal behaviour
↓
“Reynaert” stories (picaresque novels) all over Europe are related to:
“Ysengrimus” of master Nivardus (1149) and “Roman de Renard” of
Peter Van Saint-Claud (1175)
“De duivelse streken van de vos”
– Bestiarium, Engeland (ca 1230)
Uit ‘De papegaai van de paus. Mens
en dier in de Middeleeuwen’ van
Raymond van Uytven
“Dieren op de hoeve” – Vergilius,
Georgica, Brugge (1473)
Uit ‘De papegaai van de paus. Mens
en dier in de Middeleeuwen’ van
Raymond van Uytven
“Een koninklijke mantel voor
paard en hond” –
Chroniques de Froissart, Brugge
(1470-1475)
Uit ‘De papegaai van de paus. Mens
en dier in de Middeleeuwen’ van
Raymond van Uytven
A.
B.
A.“Hondenverzorging” ; B. “Een waardig hondenhok”
- Gaston Phoebus, Livre de la Chasse, Frankrijk (begin 15de eeuw)
Uit ‘De papegaai van de paus. Mens en dier in de Middeleeuwen’ van
Raymond van Uytven
Uit ‘Animals and Men’ van Kenneth Clark
Changed attitude in the human – animal
relationship
- Enlightenment and rationalism resulting in science and technology
↓
industrial revolution and stagnation of agriculture in Europe
- From 1880: impact of american grain import
↓
crisis in agriculture → increasing importance of animal husbandry
- after WW-II:
mechanisation, specialisation and increase of scale
→
intensification and instrumentalisation of animals
Double purpose animals disappear (specialisation)
increased landless animal husbandry
knowledge- and capital intensive
no visibility
link with individual animals disappearing
cleft between producers and consumers
Human – animal relationship becomes again very diverse (e.g. on
the basis of costs for medical care one is willing to pay for an animal)
Classification and definition of:
utility animals (farm animals, experimental
animals in the lab, working
musk rat
animals)
horse
pets
sheep
helping animals
hobby animals
harmful animals
rabbit
exotic animals
wild or garne animals
Classification of
animals in actual law
is strikingly similar to
the “bestiaria” of the
Middle Ages
Uit ‘De gouden kooi: over het ontstaan van het huisdier’ van A. GAUTIER
In the animal welfare debate of today:
2 elements:
→ the welfare of the animal on itself
→ the value of the animal … for men
Speciesism that is so reprehensive for the followers of SINGER
(1975) and REGAN (1983) is alive and kicking when pets and
hobby animals are concerned.
We acknowledge the same anthropomorfic attitude as in the
Middle Ages.
Pets are equally or even more instrumentally approached as
utility animals, but the farmer is teached a lesson.
Future
Animal use and human-animal-relationship




Human-animal relationship differs a lot: cultural
influences and sometimes ‘inconsistent’ (e.g. tame rat
vs. ‘vermin’)
Artificial difference between species without
fundamental biological difference (emotion, pain)
‘Agricultural animal’ or ‘useful animal’ : important for
food production, but also ecologically (soil
improvement) or agricultural (traction power)
Next to ‘useful’ often also a cultural role (holy cow,
aversion of pig meat…)
Conclusion
There is an ambiguous attitude towards the
different domesticated animals, also with regard to
eugenetics.
“all animals are equal…but some are more equal than others”
(G. Orwell, Animal Farm)
Either
instrumental use of animals within limits of their
“welfare” and/or “integrity”
i.o.w. speciesism is not morally reprehensible
Or animals CANNOT be used by man, and this is than for
ALL domesticated animals, including pets and laboratory
experimental antimals etc., and not opportunistically only
for farm animals
i.o.w. speciesism is morally reprehensible
Thank you for your
attention!

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