This book draws attention to the logical contradictions, unstable premises, and unquestioned assumptions that underlie arguments about Man's distinction, while also demonstrating that the way we think about nonhuman animals is only one possibility among many.
Vestiges of older ways of thinking continue to inform our understanding of the human-nonhuman animal relationship, disturbing the simple narrative that Man has mastered nature.
The reader will additionally find here a history that illuminates popular attitudes toward nature as well as intellectual traditions about the relationship between Man and other animals.
As a result, each chapter is an overview of how the past continues to inform the present.
The chapters, then, move back and forth between ancient ideas like the myths of Prometheus and Orpheus, Age of Reason philosophers like Francis Bacon and Immanuel Kant and modern practices like petkeeping and vivisection.