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經濟學人下載:人類之蜜糖,動物之砒霜(1)

Source: Economist    2021-05-13  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

Books & arts 

文藝板塊

Book review 

書評

Interspecies relations 

種間關系

Creature discomforts 

動物的煩惱

How to Love Animals. By Henry Mance.

《如何愛動物》。作者:亨利·曼斯

Cat videos are the definition of clickbait, dogs are prized for their companionable qualities, and the most popular cartoons feature bears, rabbits, ducks and pigs. But in an age when so many people profess to be animal-lovers, a remarkable number behave in ways that suggest the opposite — eating meat of dubious provenance or fish that suffocated on the decks of trawlers, controlling pets with chastening strictness and gawping at wretchedly constrained elephants in zoos. 

貓咪視頻是吸睛利器,狗狗因友善的品質而備受青睞,熊、兔子、鴨子和豬往往是大火卡通片的主角。在當今時代,許多人都自詡愛動物人士,但還是有相當一部分人的舉止截然相反,他們會吃來源可疑的肉或在拖網漁船甲板上窒息的魚,會嚴厲管教動物,還會去動物園里觀賞可憐受困的大象。

As Henry Mance, a British journalist, observes, “animals have worse prospects in the very time that we have supposedly been looking out for them.” His lively first book argues for a profound reassessment of humans’ relationships with other species. It is a polemic framed as a personal quest. He takes a job at a slaughterhouse and graphically reports his efforts to rip the wool off freshly killed sheep. He learns to fish, goes on a fruitless deer hunt and visits a lab where drugs are tested on mice and frogs. He observes at close quarters the effects of both deforestation and re-wilding; he attends a Californian dog-fanciers’ convention where corgis are dressed as sharks while their owners dress as corgis. 

英國記者亨利·曼斯觀察到,“我們自認是在為動物著想,卻讓它們的前景更加糟糕。”曼斯的第一本書生動明快,主張重新深入考慮人類與其他物種的關系。這是一本以個人探索為論辯框架的書。曼斯在一家屠宰場找到了一份工作,并生動地報道了自己從剛殺掉的羊身上扯下羊毛的經歷。他學會了釣魚,進行了一次無果的獵鹿活動,還參觀了一間用老鼠和青蛙進行藥物測試的實驗室。他近距離觀察到森林砍伐和再荒野化的影響;他參加了加州的一個愛狗者大會,在大會上,柯吉犬被打扮成鯊魚,而主人們則打扮成柯吉犬。

Some of Mr Mance’s conclusions are unsurprising. Covid-19 has been a sharp education in the cost of disrupting ecosystems. Animals widely regarded as expendable, such as wolves, turn out to play vital roles in keeping other species in check. Though as a child the author adored zoos, marvelling at the tigers and pandas, he now has misgivings about these “soulless, motionless” places, which strike him as “the conservation equivalent of a police line-up”. He is an advocate of veganism, but worries that it may be a “niche pursuit” and “a sign of society fragmenting, rather than animal interests winning”. 

曼斯得出的某些結論并不出人意料。新冠疫情已然成為尖銳的教訓,是人類破壞生態系統的代價。某些人們廣泛認為可殺掉的動物在控制其他物種方面卻起著至關重要的作用,比如狼。盡管曼斯小時候很喜歡動物園,每每驚嘆于老虎和大熊貓,但現在的他對這些“沒有生氣、一動不動”的地方心存疑慮,他覺得“這樣的保護與警察列隊沒什么兩樣”。他是素食主義的倡導者,但擔心這可能會成為“小眾的追求”,變成“社會分裂的標志,卻沒能讓動物利益取勝”。


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