Animals in their graves

The political agency of animal emotions

Animals in their graves

How Animals Grieve

by Barbara J. King

University of Chicago Press (Footprint Books) $39.95 hb, 208 pp, 9780226436944

Rebecca Giggs

Rebecca Giggs writes about ecology and environmental imagination, animals, landscape, politics, and memory. Her essays and reviews have...

In an age of YouTube piglets and puppies, when animals are images and those images are everywhere, the interior lives of animals have scant authority. The triumph of the animal welfare lobby has been to widen, in the public imagination, our definition of what types of bodies can suffer. But who can guess what goes on inside animals’ heads? Only poets are petitioned on that subject. Meanwhile, animals cast inscrutable glances to the camera, engaged in the pratfalls, serendipitous encounters, and twee feats that so fascinate a digital audience. What animals know is not for us to wonder. Watch now, what the animals do.

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Published in September 2013 no. 354