By Adrian Franklin
Animals can let us know much approximately ourselves. the best way we like them as pets, consume them for dinner, lead them to symbols of the state or shun them as invaders and pests illuminates a lot approximately our society and tradition. Animal country strains the advanced 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 primarily others.
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Extra resources for Animal Nation: The True Story of Animals And Australia
12 White says we should understand Dampier’s ungenerous comments in the context of his disappointment at not finding the means with which to convert his magnificent sailing effort into the tangible gains of wealth, future backing and the extension of trade. That there was nothing doing in these terms was grounds enough for his use of the language of barrenness, poverty, nakedness and misery. Dampier was a contemporary of Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe, and his reports have to be taken in the light of prevailing norms and values.
Anomalies only exist as an artefact of classifications, which are human creations, ways of trying to tidy up the world and give it a gloss of order. But the natural world is messier, and the source of creation was not a human-like God but the marvellously intricate and specific ( 46 ) Animal Nation contingencies that coalesce around natural selection, changing environments and survival of the fittest. There is no room for anomalies here; a creature is the best-fit product of specific environments wrought over long time-frames and if its environment changes in any way it may or may not survive.
These were still the days when the creationist view of nature dominated and the theoretical concept that had the greatest bearing on the Australian animal enigma was the Great Chain of Being. The Great Chain of Being held that the universe was laid out in a single hierarchy, fixed on Creation, with the highest forms of life at the apex (with God, angels and humans at the top) and the very lowest forms at the base. 22 By the time Captain Cook embarked on his scientific voyages there were still some very substantial gaps, notably between humans and the great apes, so finding the missing links was a major scientific objective.