This article summarizes the author's views on mankind's systematic discrimination between favored and unfavored life forms throughout human history, with particular emphasis on domesticated animals and plants. In the context of an up-to-date, politically oriented philosophy of nature, two empirical facts should be treated as fundamental: First, that the ecological crisis van be regarded as a global event of environmental change with historical roots in humankind's domestication of animals and plants. Second, that much of the modern loss of biodiversity and ecosystem complexity can be ascribed to man's habit of discriminating between favored and unfavored species, thus superimposing a human hierarchy upon nature. In this article, it is argued that the subject of domestication can be regarded as archetypical for human interaction with the environment, since it exemplifies an attempted taming of nature. Further theoretical developments are outlined, and some implications for food-related politics and activism suggested.
Virtual issue on honor of Jesper Hoffmeyer
5 weeks ago