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Reconnecting with animality

There’s a growing number of philosophers and theorists who talk about a need for human beings to reconnect with animality – their animality. Humans once experienced the world with all our senses; we relied on these animal senses for our very survival. It appears now that Western civilisation’s attitude to nonhuman animals has created a disconnection from nature and animals.

If we stopped or slowed down to look, we’d see that our everyday is a multiplicity of temporalities and shifting assemblages of humans and nonhumans.

For Anna Tsing (Tsing, 2015, 21) ‘progress is embedded in widely accepted assumptions about what it means to be human.’ She continues ‘we learn over and over that humans are different from the rest of the lively world because we look forward – while other species, live day to day.’ The fast paced human world is locked in forward motion, swallowing up ‘other kinds of time into its rhythm’, and, ‘as long as we imagine that humans are made through progress, nonhumans are stuck within this imaginative framework too’ (Tsing, 2015, 21). Without this hurtling forward, we might notice other temporal patterns and learn how to look around rather than just straight ahead. This kind of noticing is needed to reconnect with the more-than-human.

The important stuff for life on earth happens in becomings and unbecomings – in the constant process of transformations and collaborations.

'I fear that the animals consider man as a being like themselves that has lost in a most dangerous way his sound animal common sense; they consider him the insane animal, the laughing animal, the weeping animal, the miserable animal' (Nietzsche: 2001,145).
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