André Kahn

Sleep and Your Child Publication date : March 1, 2003

Who can honestly say they have never been afraid of “mad” cows? Of cattle doomed to burn in a blazing pyre, in the hopes of eradicating foot-and-mouth disease? Who has never worried about cloned animals, doubtless soon to be produced like tins on an assembly line? And what about the bears and wolves that are raised in captivity and then released into the wild — a practice criticised by both hunters and environmentalists? What can be said about pit bulls, the best friends of urban delinquents who train them to be aggressive?
All these cases have had a strong impact on public opinion. Above all, they show the extent to which animals have become dependent on human beings — now a major factor in their evolution.
In this book, Baratay holds a mirror up to humanity. He reviews the changing status of animals throughout human history: from ancient myths about animal domestication to the invention of bullfighting, from the great pastoral epics to modern slaughterhouses, from the ancient role played by animals in the human imagination to modern laboratory testing.

Eric Baratay is a historian specialising in the contemporary world and in the status of animals. He teaches at Jean Moulin University in Lyon.