Hunters, herders, and hamburgers : the past and future of human-animal relationships / Richard W. Bulliet.

Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Bulliet, Richard W.
Format: Book
Published: New York : Columbia University Press, c2005.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Columbia University historian Bulliet (The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization) admits he is not "a scientific researcher in the field of animal studies," but his book presents a provocative look at human-animal relations that offers a heady but highly readable mix of anthropology, archeology, zoology, environmentalism and philosophy. His main argument is that we live in an era of "postdomesticity" in which people live far away, "both physically and psychologically," from the animals whose food and hides they rely on. The bulk of the book is a look at various stages of human-animal relationships from antiquity to today, with remarkable explorations of related issues, such as the real-and nonnutritional-reason for human consumption of milk, and the way the industrialization of animal exploitation has caused a "spiritual and imaginative impoverishment of our outlook on the animal world." But what will surely cause the biggest controversy is Bulliet's fascinating argument that an "increasing fascination with fantasies of sex and blood" among post-WWII Americans is a subliminal reaction to the removal of animals other than pets-along with animal slaughter and animal sex-from their childhood experiences. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved