Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fernandez on Braverman, "Zooland"

JOTWELL's legal history section has posted some new material: Angela Fernandez (University of Toronto) writes about her appreciation for Irus Braverman, Zooland: The Institution of Captivity (Stanford University Press, 2012). Here's an excerpt from the beginning of Fernandez's short essay:
Irus Braverman’s recent book Zooland is a wonderful read on a topic that is of both historical and current interest—zoos. How should we view zoos given the frank admission by all, including zoo advocates, that zoo animals are captives, forced to forgo what would otherwise be a superior existence in order to serve the pedagogical and conservationist agenda that zoos have cultivated as justifications for their existence? . . . 

Legal historians will be interested in the shift Braverman describes from zoos as sites of entertainment, a variation on the old menagerie style collection of animals, preferably exotic, that would then perform various colonialist and empire-building functions, to the (arguably) more laudable conservationist rationale and its accompanying practices often targeted at educating adults and children about species and habitat decline and destruction. . . .
Read on here.

1 comment:

Patrick S. O'Donnell said...

Anyone with the slightest moral or philosophical interest in this topic should also read two essays by Dale Jamieson: “Against Zoos,” and “Zoos Revisited,” two consecutive chapters in his book, Morality’s Progress: Essays on Humans, Other Animals, and the Rest of Nature (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002). Both essays are available online at his academic page at New York University: http://environment.as.nyu.edu/object/dalejamieson.html