Tag: history

How the Past Can Give Us Hope for the Future

In this episode of the Food for Thought Podcast, I explain how the hindsight of history can give us the insight of sages. (And I include the written essay below.)

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For the animals, thank you for listening. 

Gut-Wrenching: Common Words with Surprising Animal Origins

Today’s episode is not as gruesome as it sounds — aside from the fact that killing animals and eating their body parts is kinda gruesome — but it IS fascinating. It’s all about words with animal flesh and fluids at their roots both actually AND etymologically. Words you’d never expect. Words you never even realized. Take a listen and see what I mean!

My Client is Innocent: The History and Significance of Protecting Animals Under the Law

The first animal anti-cruelty law in the United States was passed in 1867, and though there is much work to be done, much work has been done to protect animals under the law since then. Join me today for my conversation with Stephen Wells, executive director for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, as we talk about the legal definition of animals as “property,” legal victories secured for animals, and how this field has grown significantly over the decades, reflecting a shift in public opinion. 

Visit ALDF.org

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Zodiac: A Circle of Animals — Literally

Of the 88 constellations officially recognized by Western astronomy, 40 of them are named after animals — 43 if you count the mythical animals. We’re going to talk about 12 of them today — the 12 that make up the zodiac from Western astrology — ALL of which contain animals. 

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History of English in 10 (ish) Minutes

Throughout the episodes of Animalogy, I’ll be talking about the Proto-Indo-European reconstructed language, the related Indo-European languages, Old English (or Anglo-Saxon), the Norman invasion, Latin, Greek, and different types of sound changes that have occurred in English. In order to provide some context for what might be unfamiliar bits of history or linguistics, I’m offering this brief overview of this remarkable language called English.

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Animal Abuse, Then and Now

On a recent trip to Italy, while touring the baths of Pompeii, a woman in my group looked up at a graphic depiction of a boy swimming with dolphins and declared that the ancient Romans must have loved animals. I conceded that they most likely regarded animals with awe, while reminding her of the grueling chariot races in the Circus Maximus, the gruesome fabricated “hunts” in the Roman Forum, and the egregious animal slaughter that took place in the Colosseum – all for the sake of human entertainment.

The ancient Romans were, like us, a diverse and complicated people. They were resourceful, intelligent, and innovative. They were also violent, ignorant, and opportunistic. In all these ways – both good and bad – we are the same.

The Colosseum in Rome is a testament to this. Awe-inspiring though it was to stand inside this architectural feat and to contemplate the ingenuity, hubris, and labor that went into its design and construction, it was equally disquieting. Imagining the amount of blood shed, bodies strewn, and lives wasted over the centuries it was in use was unsettling – not only because so much unnecessary torment once took place but mostly because it continues to.

The practice of using and killing animals for our own pleasure runs throughout history and cultures. It’s certainly not unique to the ancient Romans, and it did not end with them. We like to pretend that we’ve shed our barbaric selves, but the violent echoes of the past resound in our own amphitheaters.

*In modern horse racing, horses are pushed beyond their limits only to be discarded and often slaughtered when there’s little chance they’ll earn a laurel crown for their riders.

*For our contemporary circuses, majestic wild animals are beaten into submission for the entertainment of stadium spectators.

*In “canned hunts,” animals are pursued in a confined area and then slain to be displayed as trophies.

We like to believe that we’re more advanced than our ancient predecessors, but when it comes to our relationship with the non-human citizens of the world it seems that little has changed.

With a Perspective, this is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

The ancient Romans were, like us, a diverse and complicated people. They were resourceful, intelligent, and innovative. They were also violent, ignorant, and opportunistic. In all these ways – both good and bad – we are the same.

The Colosseum in Rome is a testament to this. Awe-inspiring though it was to stand inside this architectural feat and to contemplate the ingenuity, hubris, and labor that went into its design and construction, it was equally disquieting. Imagining the amount of blood shed, bodies strewn, and lives wasted over the centuries it was in use was unsettling – not only because so much unnecessary torment once took place but mostly because it continues to.

The practice of using and killing animals for our own pleasure runs throughout history and cultures. It’s certainly not unique to the ancient Romans, and it did not end with them. We like to pretend that we’ve shed our barbaric selves, but the violent echoes of the past resound in our own amphitheaters.

*In modern horse racing, horses are pushed beyond their limits only to be discarded and often slaughtered when there’s little chance they’ll earn a laurel crown for their riders.

*For our contemporary circuses, majestic wild animals are beaten into submission for the entertainment of stadium spectators.

*In “canned hunts,” animals are pursued in a confined area and then slain to be displayed as trophies.

We like to believe that we’re more advanced than our ancient predecessors, but when it comes to our relationship with the non-human citizens of the world it seems that little has changed.

With a Perspective, this is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

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