Harambe, a western lowland gorilla, was shot dead on Friday in Cincinnati after a 4-year-old boy got into its enclosure. Articles and Facebook posts have proliferated (like this one from Time), most of them either (1) wholly anthropocentric, or (2) wholly gorilla-centric, asserting something like (1) we have to protect the child or (2) we should have protected the gorilla. The child's mother has been harassed. Comments on Twitter were equally mean and lacking critical distance. A Facebook page has been set up in support of the mother (Michelle Gregg). The whole tragic affair reminded me of the Australian ecofeminist Val Plumwood's experience--she was almost eaten by a crocodile, an experience she recounts in several places, most fully in the posthumous Eye of the crocodile (read it for free here). The situation is obviously different, and we can't confuse the two, but critical distance is what's needed.
Project THE HUMANIST anthropocene
is a thought archive and workspace of Phillip John Usher (NYU) at the crossroads of early modern humanism and the problems and insights of the Anthropocene. Main Research Page.
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Resilience (A Journal of the Environmental Humanities)
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