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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Affect Theory and the Role it Plays on Our Domestication of Animals


Humans have time and time again proved themselves to be authoritative creatures whether through risk-taking or ambition we have shown the world that we are a force to be reckoned with. We have continued to make decisions that inevitably create positive and negative consequences for ourselves, one of them notably being animal domestication. As we have evolved and changed, so has our relationship with animals. In Animals and Human Society: Changing Perspectives (1994) by Aubrey Manning and James Serpell as it was stated “The nature of our relationships with them and how they have been regarded has depended on how we human beings see ourselves and our place in the pattern of existence” (Manning & Serpell, 1994, p.xi). By re-examining of our relationship with animals and their development over time, we gain an apprehension about our issues with them and why the act of domestication must be resolved. In the beginning, we see that we began as hunters and gatherers only to progress into working members of modern society. By looking at our timeline, we can further prove that we no longer feared these creatures around us, but instead found ways to use them to our advantage. Our thoughts and feelings have changed as well as we have become a dominant force over them. We can further support this statement by taking into consideration, affect theory. Affect theory allows us to take social forces in our environment that precipitate the body and to examine how we respond in specific ways. In implementing this theory into our emotions and actions we can gain a comprehensive picture of humans and our relationship with the domestication of animals. Thus, allowing us to utilize new ways of thinking and our perception of the actions taken place in these situations.

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