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    经济学人下载:人类之蜜糖,动物之砒霜(1)

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

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    动物的烦恼

    How to Love Animals. By Henry Mance.

    《如何爱动物》。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. 

    猫咪视频是吸睛利器,狗狗因友善的品质而备受青睐,熊、兔子、鸭子和猪往往是大火卡通片的主角。在当今时代,许多人都自诩爱动物人士,但还是有相当一部分人的举止截然相反,他们会吃来源可疑的肉或在拖网渔船甲板上窒息的鱼,会严厉管教动物,还会去动物园里观赏可怜受困的大象。

    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. 

    英国记者亨利·曼斯观察到,“我们自认是在为动物着想,却让它们的前景更加糟糕。”曼斯的第一本书生动明快,主张重新深入考虑人类与其他物种的关系。这是一本以个人探索为论辩框架的书。曼斯在一家屠宰场找到了一份工作,并生动地报道了自己从刚杀掉的羊身上扯下羊毛的经历。他学会了钓鱼,进行了一次无果的猎鹿活动,还参观了一间用老鼠和青蛙进行药物测试的实验室。他近距离观察到森林砍伐和再荒野化的影响;他参加了加州的一个爱狗者大会,在大会上,柯吉犬被打扮成鲨鱼,而主人们则打扮成柯吉犬。

    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”. 

    曼斯得出的某些结论并不出人意料。新冠疫情已然成为尖锐的教训,是人类破坏生态系统的代价。某些人们广泛认为可杀掉的动物在控制其他物种方面却起着至关重要的作用,比如狼。尽管曼斯小时候很喜欢动物园,每每惊叹于老虎和大熊猫,但现在的他对这些“没有生气、一动不动”的地方心存疑虑,他觉得“这样的;び刖炝卸用皇裁戳窖”。他是素食主义的倡导者,但担心这可能会成为“小众的追求”,变成“社会分裂的标志,却没能让动物利益取胜”。


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