Dog's Best Friend?: Rethinking Canid-Human Relations

Dog's Best Friend?: Rethinking Canid-Human Relations


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In almost 40 per cent of households in North America, dogs are kept as companion animals. Dogs may be man's best friends, but what are humans to dogs? If these animals' loyalty and unconditional love have won our hearts, why do we so often view closely related wild canids, such as foxes, wolves, and coyotes, as pests, predatory killers, and demons? Re-examining the complexity and contradictions of human attitudes towards these animals, Dog's Best Friend? looks at how our relationships with canids have shaped and also been transformed by different political and economic contexts. Journeying from ancient Greek and Roman societies to Japan's Edo period to eighteenth-century England, essays explore how dogs are welcomed as family, consumed in Asian food markets, and used in Western laboratories. Contributors provide glimpses of the lives of street dogs and humans in Bali, India, Taiwan, and Turkey and illuminate historical and current interactions in Western societies. The book delves into the fantasies and fears that play out in stereotypes of coyotes and wolves, while also acknowledging that events such as the Wolf Howl in Canada's Algonquin Park indicate the emergence of new popular perspectives on canids. Questioning where canids belong, how they should be treated, and what rights they should have, Dog's Best Friend? reconsiders the concept of justice and whether it can be extended beyond the limit of the human species.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773559066
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 11/14/2019
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

John Sorenson is professor in the Department of Sociology at Brock University. Atsuko Matsuoka is professor in the School of Social Work at York University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Rethinking Canid-Human Relations John Sorenson Atsuko Matsuoka 3

Section 1 Historical Canid-Human Relations

1 Dogs and Humans in Ancient Greece and Rome: Towards a Definition of Extended Appropriate Interaction Cristiana Franco 33

2 Well-Bred Is Well-Behaved: The Creation and Meaning of Dog Breeds Martin Wallen 59

3 Significant Others: Fox Gods and Dog Generals in Pre-Modern Japan Michael Bathgate 84

Section 2 Dogs in Space

4 Dogs, Dirt, and Public Space Karla Armbruster 113

5 Post-Human Families? Dog-Human Relations in the Domestic Sphere Nickie Charles 135

6 Connected and Interconnected: Bali People and Bali Dogs Kim McCreanor Stephen McCreanor Agra Utari 160

7 Street Dogs, Rights, and the Pursuit of Justice in India's Dogopolis Lisa Warden 176

8 Gone Stray: A Journey of Gou Mama and Their Fur-Kids Chia-ju Chang 209

9 Caring for Istanbul's Street Animals: Empathy, Altruism, and Rage Kimberly Hart 230

Section 3 Exploitation

10 Eating Dogs John Sorenson 251

11 The Beagle Freedom Project: Activism, Advocacy, and Awareness Tim Fowler 277

Section 4 Wild Canids

12 Becoming "Us" Sandi Mikuse 293

13 Time to Rethink the Wolf: Reflections on Captivity Rob Laidlaw 313

14 Of Bounty and Beastly Tales: Wolves and the Canadian Imagination Stephanie Rutherford 337

Conclusion: Canid-Human Relations, Speciesism, and Overlooked Interlocking Systems of Oppression John Sorenson Atsuko Matsuoka 355

Contributors 373

Index 379

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