COMPARING OOZ TO OTHER HUMAN/NONHUMAN INTERFACES:

To appreciate the sociopolitical critiques of OOZ, is to understand the alternative it provides to the other institutions that script interactions with animals. These (12) traditional and familiar models I discuss below, I would describe, like OOZ, as interfaces between humans and animals. These institutions are far from marginal and irrelevant to socio political issues, they are pervasive and crucial in contemporary human society. While most of these existing animal/human interfaces are contemptible, they also provide cauldrons of political possibilities.

1. THE ZOO

Zoo's (and aquariums): incarcerate animals and infantilize them. They are linguistic exercises that displays animals neatly in their categorical boxes. The animals are robbed of their capacity to negotiate territory, interspecies relationships, and their caretakers even chop food chopped for them. They are stripped of their (political) autonomy and social structure. Furthermore, ZOOs are profoundly unsustainable institutions from an environmental perspective. The Bronx Zoo, for instance, is the largest polluter in its county, concentrating the animal wastes. This is the Victorian-era institution that the OOZ project seeks to reinvent.

 

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