By Sarah E. McFarl, Ryan Hediger, Sarah E. McFarland
This assortment examines the query of nonhuman animal service provider by way of moving emphasis from the human standpoint towards that of alternative animals, exploring modes of animal resistance to human behaviors, and contemplating the methods the presence of animals refracts human notions like enterprise and species.
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Additional resources for Animals and Agency (Human-Animal Studies)
What is also intriguing is that the orcas at Marineland were expressing agency in a way very similar to the bottlenose dolphins stealing the white trays of fish at Dolphin Cove in Sea World. And, by the same token, the bottlenose dolphins at Sea World have learned from each other, and so were also demonstrating cultural transmission. However, the dolphins have not received any attention or recognition as such. Overall, the actions of the bottlenose dolphins and orca whales recalled and discussed in this essay are surely a testament to the everpresent yet largely unattended to embodied agency of whale individuals in captive environments.
So, the dolphins could position themselves relative to that point and remain just out of reach (as shown in Figure 2), thus avoiding unwanted touch. Likewise, another relevant structure attached to the wall was active in, and meaningful for, either facilitating or inhibiting opportunities for tactile interactions. A one-foot-wide ledge at the base of the interactive wall on the pool side ran along the entire perimeter, and was situated just below the surface of the water. With the ledge as part of the hybrid performance, a dolphin was presented with several opportunities for action.
3 While I concur with Sullivan’s assessment of what attracted so many to the Seabiscuit story, I find abundant instances in the racing industry of fans “identifying” with horses (as fully as they do with human athletes) without placing a bet. 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones was constructed, by the media and his team members, as the protagonist in an underdog, against-all-odds fairy tale, and it inspired American adults as well as children, who sent hordes of letters and emails to the horse.
Animals and Agency (Human-Animal Studies) by Sarah E. McFarl, Ryan Hediger, Sarah E. McFarland