Picturing the Beast: Animals, Identity, and Representation
"From Mickey Mouse to the teddy bear, from the Republican elephant to the use of "jackass" as an all-purpose insult, images of animals play a central role in politics, entertainment, and social interactions. In this penetrating look at how Western culture pictures the beast, Steve Baker examines how such images--sometimes affectionate, sometimes derogatory, always distorting--affect how real animals are perceived and treated. Baker provides an animated discussion of how animals enter into the iconography of power through wartime depictions of the enemy, political cartoons, and sports symbolism. He examines a phenomenon he calls the "disnification" of animals, meaning a reduction of the animal to the trivial and stupid, and shows how books featuring talking animals underscore human superiority. He also discusses how his findings might inform the strategies of animal rights advocates seeking to call public attention to animal suffering and abuse. Until animals are extricated from the baggage of imposed images, Baker maintains, neither they nor their predicaments can be clearly seen. For this edition, Baker provides a new introduction, specifically addressing an American audience, that touches on such topics as the Cow Parade, animal imagery in the presidential race, and animatronic animals in recent films."--Publisher's website.
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advertisement animal body animal imagery Animal Liberation Front animal rights movement anthropocentric anthropomorphism appear artist attitudes avenging animal Berger Britain British Bulldog Bobby called campaign cartoon cartoonist cats chapter characterized characters clear comic complex concern connotations contemporary contrast course culture Daily Express Daily Mirror depicted described Disney disnification Donald Duck edited Eduardo Kac Elaine Scarry episteme essay evidence example fact Foucault headline human idea identity image of animals instance June kind lion living animal logo London lucky cows Mary Douglas meanings mentalite metonymic Mickey Mouse Mouse narrative nature neotenous opposition particular photograph pictorial Picturing the Beast pleasure political popular poster present question readers reality reference relation rhetoric Roland Barthes RSPCA Rupert seems sense significance society specific strategies Sue Coe Sunday Tester therianthropic thing tion totem typical viewers World writing