Quarterly Essay 45 Us and Them
On the Importance of Animals
by Anna Krien
For the first time in history, humans sit unchallenged at the top of the food chain. As we encroach on the wild and a vast wave of extinctions gathers force, how has our relationship with animals changed?
In this dazzling essay, Anna Krien investigates the world we have made and the complexity of the choices we face. From pets to the live cattle trade, from apex predators to scientific experiments, Krien shows how we should – and do – treat our fellow creatures. As she delves deeper, she finds that animals can trigger primal emotions in us, which we are often unwilling to acknowledge. This is a clear-eyed meditation on humanity and animality, us and them, that brings out the importance of animals in an unforgettable way.
“I am not weighing up whether our treatment of animals is just, because it isn’t. That age-old debate is a farce – deep down we all know it. The real question is, just how much of this injustice are we prepared to live with?” — Anna Krien, Us & Them
- Black Inc., March 2012
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