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Americans do weird things with animals, or, why did the chicken cross the road?

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Chapter Summary

Americans do weird things with animals. Others do as well, but as in most other mass-market cultural enterprises, Americans lead the way, with their commercially-powerful resource-intensive anthrozoological perversities. This chapter interrogates humanism in terms of how they have integrated animals into their cultural worldview. It is interested in what part animals play in this bundle of culture in the age of humanism, and what comes next: what part will animals play in a post-human consciousness? The chapter examines the anthropocentric, imperialist prejudices exhibited in the peculiar procedures adopted by many cultural practitioners and their audiences. Beginning with the dead chicken parts used by Pinar Yolacan to construct blouses, it moves to the elephants made to appear in Richard Avedons famous photograph of the model Dovima, and in fashion shoots promoting Chanel suits and Manolo Blahnik shoes.

Keywords: Americans; animals; anthropocentric; chicken; cultural practitioners; humanism; Pinar Yolacan; Richard Avedon; weird things



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