Town and Country: Animals, Space and Place
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In Britain we often picture the countryside as a rural idyll; a landscape inhabited by domesticated other animals (such as sheep and cows) in patchwork fields surrounded by wilder areas populated by red squirrels and deer who live in the woods and forests. In the city or town our encounters with other animals are more likely to be found in walking with dogs, sightings of cats sitting in windows and encounters with welcome visitors (such as blackbirds and robins) or unwelcome creatures (such as gulls and pigeons). If we go out to sea we might hope to come upon other animals such as puffins, gannets, dolphins and seals. Like in all countries across the world the different landscapes and seascapes are associated with a variety of other animals and, depending on where we are, we will have different ideas about the other animals we might meet. Although these ideas are often idyllic, they demonstrate that, as a grouping, other animals are ‘subjected to all manner of sociospatial inclusions and exclusions’ (Philo, 1995, p. 655). In this chapter I explore spatial relationships between humans and other animals and examine how these are related to power relations. Thus I ask how are other animals included and excluded from different places? In order to answer this question I compare urban areas such as towns and cities with places viewed as natural (which, for ease, I call the countryside), and consider how humans make a distinction between places for other animals and places not for other animals (or not for specific other animals).
KeywordsUrban Environment Social Construction Human Relation Giant Panda Urban Space
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