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Sociology: “Knowing And Being Known by Animals” by John Grim Essay


Grim begins by discussing the mutuality of knowing between humans and animals. It does not matter that animals can be directly perceived. The ability to be known and also interact with animals began during the era of hunting and gathering. This is why Grim is suggesting that restorative ecology can indeed replace some of the animal species that have been eradicated by mankind. There has been an exchange of knowledge between animals and humans.

The above is an effective and transformational mode of knowing. The author uses various examples in the article. For instance, the winter dance that is very common among the Salish natives as well as the Mask festival famous among the Dogons who live in the lower regions of the Sahara desert in Africa.

The author is specifically interested in exploring the type of relationship that exists between animals and people, even as they perform their indigenous rituals.

The author notes that a close and cordial relationship existed between animals and the early man. Some of the approaches that enhanced the intimacy between man and animals included reflections on cosmology, perceptions of ecology, and perspectives on personhood.

The modern world is extremely using animals in a dictatorial manner. This was not the case some centuries ago. For example, man has converted the intimate friendship into using animals as pets, for scientific research, entertainment as well as food. This is one of the preoccupations of the author. The author is also preoccupied with the fact that several animal species are becoming extinct from the planet.

As much as we rely on animals for vital uses, they should never be converted to utilitarian objects that can be put into use at any given time. The author presupposes that there are quite several methodological approaches that can be employed to minimize the challenge of animal subjectivity.

Another presupposition demonstrated by the author is that subsistence practices that are embedded among the indigenous populations are usually the key determinants that shape the relationship between human beings and animals. Moreover, the ritual performances that are celebrated by the native groups, as well as the mythical narratives, largely contribute towards the nature of the man-animal relationship that exists in those civilizations.

The author presupposes that the local environment usually interacts with the cultural practices and that none of the two entities can be separated from the other.

This assertion creates an impression that animal presence usually alerts the human bodies to begin exploiting the same intimacy that has existed for several centuries. Also, ecological perception is connected to concepts of personhood that also validates cultural concepts. The latter is often manifested in mythic narratives, rituals, and social practices.

Moreover, the author presupposes that the relationship that exists between man and animals in this current age is largely meant to harm one entity while benefitting the other. In other words, human beings are keen on gaining a lot from animals at the expense of the latter.

The author relates human response to the presence of animals as a cosmic power. Social cohesion and self-knowledge are among the two major benefits of having a full understanding of animals and also being fully understood by the same animals.

Indigenous viewpoints regarding animals eventually surface after the author concludes his ideologies regarding the relationship between animals and mankind. Reflections on cosmology, perceptions of ecology, and concepts of personhood are indeed instrumental in the discussion offered by the author throughout the piece of literature. For instance, personhood concepts and epistemologies of relatedness have a very close relationship.

As much as it may be part and parcel of the presupposition of the author, the greater understanding that animals possess is a clear example on how the relationship between the two entities has continually worsened with time. That notwithstanding, the immediate environment has been linked to the nature of the destruction that takes place in the animal kingdom.

The author is obsessed by the fact that spiritual maturity can only be attained by communities and individuals in the presence of a civilized environment. It appears that the anthropo-cosmic rituals are indeed healthy in environments that have been ruined by poor cultural activities.

This is similar to the presupposition that ecological restoration can be undertaken to bring back animal life. The reality is that sustainable bioregions are required in this current age if the glory that ever existed between man and animals can be put back in place.

On a final note, Grim is worried that the inability to restore lost sustainable fields may eventually ruin the planet completely because in the absence of animals, the ‘indigenous knowing’ will be fragmented to the extent that mankind and especially the emerging new generations will not be in a position to share the intimate world with animals as it used to be before man broke the vow to safeguard the friendship.

Consequently, we will not be known animals, and neither shall we able to know animals.

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IvyPanda. (2020, March 18). Sociology: "Knowing And Being Known by Animals" by John Grim. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/sociology-knowing-and-being-known-by-animals-by-john-grim/

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"Sociology: "Knowing And Being Known by Animals" by John Grim." IvyPanda, 18 Mar. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/sociology-knowing-and-being-known-by-animals-by-john-grim/.

1. IvyPanda. "Sociology: "Knowing And Being Known by Animals" by John Grim." March 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sociology-knowing-and-being-known-by-animals-by-john-grim/.


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IvyPanda. "Sociology: "Knowing And Being Known by Animals" by John Grim." March 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sociology-knowing-and-being-known-by-animals-by-john-grim/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Sociology: "Knowing And Being Known by Animals" by John Grim." March 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/sociology-knowing-and-being-known-by-animals-by-john-grim/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Sociology: "Knowing And Being Known by Animals" by John Grim'. 18 March.

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