Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Our worldview is made of animals. Our views of animals determine how we see nature—the living world as well as our part in it. Pre-agricultural peoples were intrigued by animals, their behaviors and powers. In these totemic societies, animals were seen as First Beings, ancestors, and there was a sense of kinship and continuity with the living world. Domestication upends that, and reduces animals from souls and powers to tools and commodities. Agrarian societies invented misothery and other cultural devices to give humans a sense of supremacy and a license to exploit animals and nature. Misothery imposes a negativity in our worldview; we despise too much of the living world—including our own animality, our sexuality, and our bodily functions. This is the root of all alienation.

Keywords: Agrarian, Alienation, Animals, Domestication, Exploitation, Misothery, Worldview

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.