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Pets, Property, and Partners: Macaques as Commodities in the Human-Other Primate Interface

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The Macaque Connection

Part of the book series: Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects ((DIPR,volume 43))

Abstract

In this chapter I argue that using the concept of commodity as part of an extended toolkit in ethnoprimatology can enable us to leverage the fact that in some contexts macaques have specific types of value; they mean something for the humans they share space with. Thinking about this “meaning” in terms of social, financial, or cultural contexts helps us dissect the components of this multispecies relationship and apply an ethnoprimatological approach to understanding the overall ecosystem in which macaques and humans co-reside and co-construct their ecologies. It is not my intent to argue that we should assess, via a cost-benefit analysis, the financial and social value of macaques in order to evaluate whether the interface is “good” or “bad” in terms of net benefits, or any sort of pragmatic ecology. Rather, viewing macaques as commodities, in certain contexts, enables us to see that they play specific types of roles in the lives of humans and that these roles can be important in shaping the behavior and potential future of macaque populations throughout Asia.

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Correspondence to Agustin Fuentes .

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Fuentes, A. (2013). Pets, Property, and Partners: Macaques as Commodities in the Human-Other Primate Interface. In: Radhakrishna, S., Huffman, M., Sinha, A. (eds) The Macaque Connection. Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects, vol 43. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3967-7_7

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