Living with other animals fragments of self amsterdam pens

Okay. It is now accepted knowledge that having dogs (and other companion species) in your life keeps you physically and mentally fit. All those daily walks outside, all that unconditional love and calming, tactile cuddles. Just look at the work some dogs do in hospitals and residential homes for older people. Human mental health is also boosted in diverse ways by the company of cats, guinea pigs, birds, rats, snakes, stick insects……..Or our larger amsterdam family practice companions such as horses, goats, pigs (see environmentalist philosopher, Freya Mathews’ tale of Pookie the pig in ‘Without animals life is not worth living’, http://www.freyamathews.net, full text articles). This is not just about one species.

Maybe these health benefits come from participating in familiar shared cultural practices?

My mother brought a puppy into our home when I was about four, and he was a daily companion until I went amsterdam dance event 2016 to university aged eighteen. Both my sister and I have gone on to include dogs and cats in our lives. Growing up with other species makes relationships with them an ordinary part of everyday life and love.

We know about this long, long history partly from the drawings and paintings of other species found all over the world. They show that the evolution of the human race is closely tied to our interdependence with other species. This is not an innocent relationship, of course. We are prey too, but to just a few other species. Human carnivores kill their prey in a variety of disputed ways, that have evolved alongside our developing technologies. Cruelty and amsterdam university press exploitation have blighted our long history of working and living with other animals, just as it has our inter-human relationships. The development of farming, its industrialisation, our breeding practices and our restless movement from place to place have made these relations with other creatures we work with more complex. Zhao Mengfu, Horse and groom: Chinese Painting of the Yuan Dynasty, 1279-1368, Taiwan edition). Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taiwan. album leaf, ink on paper amsterdam zuidoost

Going back to our earlier days, those who hunted the wild creatures had to build up deep knowledge of them to be successful. As Elena Passarello says in ‘Animals Strike Curious Poses’, writing about the discovery of Yuka, a woolly mammoth who died 39,000 years ago, human hunters spent their lives watching them intently in order to understand them. We can see that knowledge in their cave paintings. We are still watching and learning, though for a mix of motives nowadays, still building our knowledge of all the other creatures which share this planet, and those who are part of our daily lives.

Thirteen millennia after Yuka, a woman – the first known shaman – will lie in a grave with a fox in her arms. Above her body, they’ll cross two mammoth scapulae and dust the bones with yellow-red ochre. Around her they’ll bury a collection of clay – the first known ceramics- fired into dog shapes amsterdam restaurants, bear shapes, horse shapes, and also the shapes of mammoths.

Thinking about our long, complex history of living with other animals helps me make sense of my current life, at this particular point of the twenty first century in the small Northern British town I have chosen to live in, with its parks, nature reserves and canals; its eating places where both humans and dogs are welcomed. My choice to live with rescue dogs is my expression of this inheritance, I think, plus my shorter term family practices. Others may express our interdependence through creating welcoming habitats amsterdam in their gardens for the multiple species that share this location, or through campaigning and conservation work to maintain the larger spaces needed for all species, and us humans to interact and flourish in.

It took me a long time to work out how to respond to this blog. I thought: I don’t have any intentional companions except for my brandling worms which I farm. I am quite fond of them and I look out for their welfare. But of course I live in the countryside so I do live alongside plenty of other species. It’s complicated, though, as you say.

I moved to the place where I now live in part to be closer to ‘nature’ but i quickly discovered that amsterdamse poort this involved as much fending off other species as it does enjoying their company and i have spent a long time coming to terms with the ones I encounter here. Fending off at different times has included ticks, deer, flies, rats and mice, bull-finches and rabbits – yes and sometimes dogs who amsterdams kleinkunst festival are as much visiting tourists here as the humans who bring them. We encounter each other in different ways, usually by chance but some routinely. Slow worms still surprise and frighten me in the garden but I know they need my protection. These relationships challenge my view of myself as a warm cuddly human.

There are lots of insects with whom I have on the whole benign if uneasy relationships. Butterflies and bees are easy to love. Wasps moved in last summer and stayed til mid-December in a constantly busy swarm in the wall above our bedroom window, tolerated but definitely not loved. Harlequin ladybirds have taken up residence overwinter and sit in numbers on the windows. The same. There are moths aplenty outside the house, and I only kill the ones that come in to munch on the stair carpet and my clothes.

So as I list all these species that I encounter in my day amsterdams restaurant to day comings and goings I do feel ‘accompanied’ and although I don’t control my relationships with them and have a mixture of feelings towards them, I have kind of chosen to be close to them and would miss them if they weren’t around. I also do feel some responsibility towards them.