Animal Nation: The True Story of Animals And Australia by Adrian Franklin

By Adrian Franklin

Animals can let us know much approximately ourselves.  the best way we adore them as pets, devour them for dinner, cause them to symbols of the state or shun them as invaders and pests illuminates a lot approximately our society and tradition. Animal state strains the complicated relationships among animals and people in Australia. It begins with the colonial period—when unexpected local animals have been hunted virtually to extinction and changed with hottest species—and brings us complete circle to the current whilst local species are safe particularly others.

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Extra resources for Animal Nation: The True Story of Animals And Australia

Sample text

In this way the primitive state of Australia as indicated by its fauna was mapped directly onto its humanity. Such a comfortable thought, far from easing the conscience of the colonising powers, produced yet another animal enigma and this too became increasingly focused on Australia. It is routinely conceded that Darwin’s evolutionary theory had a dramatic impact on how people thought about animals (including ourselves as animals), and how Christians in the West felt about the Bible as the blueprint truth of the world.

In late August 1884, on the Burnett River in southern Queensland, he first of all discovered an echidna with an egg laid in its pouch, and then rather excitedly he turned to finding platypuses in a similar condition. On 24 August he shot a female who had laid one egg and was in the process of laying another. The matter was settled once and for all. The platypus was an egg-laying mammal and monotremes (the new category designated for such creatures) were a specialised extension of mammalia. Both StHilaire and Owen had been only half right and thus totally wrong in their gambit for classification.

The division of labour on board Cook’s ships was very different from Dampier’s, with much greater emphasis given to scientific staff. In addition to the astronomers there were two naturalists, including Joseph Banks, two professional artists and a scientific assistant. ’17 According to Richard White, this voyage altered the image of Australia. Although the east coast was not as barren as the west coast, and could support a range of farming enterprises, there was nothing already there in terms of new products for colonial exploitation to entice settlement.

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