By Adrian Franklin
Animals can let us know much approximately ourselves. the best way we adore them as pets, devour them for dinner, cause them to symbols of the country or shun them as invaders and pests illuminates a lot approximately our society and tradition. Animal state strains the complicated relationships among animals and people in Australia. It begins with the colonial period—when unexpected local animals have been hunted virtually to extinction and changed with hottest species—and brings us complete circle to the current whilst local species are safe chiefly others.
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Additional resources for Animal Nation: The True Story of Animals And Australia
O r d e r, a t l a s t The matter may have rested there for some time were it not for a fresh report in from a reputable officer stationed in New South Wales who had taken it upon himself, and no doubt very wisely, to actually take a look at the animal in question, in situ. He had therefore dug out a group of platypus nests during the breeding season and taken a good look. On skinning one of the poor animals he discovered milk leaking from her sides, and on closer examination saw definite milk-emitting organs.
That there was nothing doing in these terms was grounds enough for his use of the language of barrenness, poverty, nakedness and misery. Dampier was a contemporary of Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe, and his reports have to be taken in the light of prevailing norms and values. To men of his age, wealth and technology were the marks of civilisation. They were supremely materialist and it is no wonder they were confused and disappointed when running into those famously religious people who cared not a jot for material things.
Far from being odd, these creatures were distinct, new even. Far from being freakish, they were elegant designs, uniquely adapted to specific environments. Far from being senseless and aesthetically unpleasing, they were beautiful, marvellous. And far from being a natural metaphor for the socially and culturally rejected, a colony of miscreants, the new understanding of its creatures provided a powerful metaphor of national inspiration: Australians too must seize their evolutionary moment and see themselves as on nothing less than an evolutionary journey themselves – they too were to be wrought from Australia’s unique conditions, environments and contingencies.