Ihmisten eläinkirja. Muuttuva eläinkulttuuri [The people’s book of animals. Our changing relationship with the animal kingdom]

22 April 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Ihmisten eläinkirja. Muuttuva eläinkulttuuri
[The people’s book of animals. Our changing relationship with the animal kingdom]
Toimittaneet [Ed. by]: Pauliina Kainulainen & Yrjö Sepänmaa
Helsinki: Gaudeamus Helsinki University Press. 235 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-570-786-4
€ 31, paperback

This book adopts a multidisciplinary approach in its examination of the relationship between humans and animals, highlighting historical, ethical and philosophical connections. The authors include humanists, theologians, anthropologists and artists. They address issues such as animal and nature conservation, animal breeding and husbandry, attitudes towards animals in myth and religion, and depictions of animals in Finnish art. Humans’ relationship to animals can hardly be said to have been consistent: in some religions, certain animals were worshipped as gods, whereas others viewed them as symbols of evil. We treat our pets as members of the family, while livestock animals are subjected to more and more cost-effective production methods. The architect Juhani Pallasmaa introduces readers to the master architects of the animal world and their highly refined, diverse architectural solutions, from which people have learnt a great deal.

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