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Human-Animal Relations in the Twenty-First Century



The overall picture of human-animal relations as they stand in the second decade of the twenty-first century is an appalling one. The suffering of animals, both those designated as consumption goods and those perishing due to the disappearance of habitats, is increasing as the human species continues to wield power through myriad forms of animal extraction, exploitation, production, and consumption. The notion of "human-animal relations," however, is a misleading one, as it lumps all humans into one classification and obscures the profoundly diverged roles that different groups of people play in shaping society's collective attitude towards animals. In this article, drawing on Theodor Adorno's and Carolyn Merchant's approaches to the tripartite structure of the most widespread forms of human-nature relations, I discuss human-animal relations in the twenty-first century, an era when public policies in a significant part of the world follow neoliberal models. Following the work of Charles Prusik, who considers Theodor Adorno's idea of natural history instrumental to understanding neoliberalism, I critically dissect the bases of contemporary human-animal relations.

Parallel abstracts

以2020年的現況來看,地球上人與動物的關係僅能以「駭人」來形容。無論是直接淪為人類的消費品,或是間接因人類行為而失去棲地,動物所遭受的來自人類的磨難有增無減。儘管如此,人類依舊透過各式各樣的攫取、剝削、掠奪、生產、消費,以高高在上萬物之靈之姿,揮鞭宰制著地球萬物。然而「人與動物的關係」這樣的框架方式將所有人類歸於同一類別,忽略了社會對動物共同態度的形塑並非不受不同群體等量的影響,而是只有部份群體角色重大,需為殘破的地球生態負絕大多數責任。本文參考阿多諾(Theodor Adorno)以及麥茜特(Carolyn Merchant)在分析人與自然之關係時所採用的人-不同階級人-自然三元觀點來理解21世紀的“人”與動物關係。21世紀全球多數國家公共政策的共同特徵可謂是「新自由主義」(neoliberalism)。本文參照普魯斯克(Prusik)借用阿多諾(Adorno)之自然史觀點來理解新自由主義之途徑,拆解新自由主義下不同人類群體彼此之間及其與動物間的關係,勾勒出現今世界階級性、剝削性的“人”與動物關係。


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