Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Semi-Stray Dogs and Graduated Humanness

Sandoval-Cervantes, I. (2016). Semi-Stray Dogs and Graduated Humanness: The Political Encounters of Dogs and Humans in Mexico. In Companion Animals in Everyday Life (pp. 169-181). Palgrave Macmillan US.

In January 2013, a pack of stray dogs was accused with murder in one of Mexico City’s poorest and most populated boroughs. Images of the dogs, expert testimonies, and protests saturated the media. Eventually, the dogs were ambiguously exonerated. This event raises important questions that show the intricate ways in which human–dog relationships in Mexico have been historically constructed around notions of humanness, and informed by notions of class, race, and citizenship. I rely on the concept of “graduated humanness” to analyze the case of the “doglinquents” of Mexico City. I conclude that the concept of “graduated humanness” can illuminate how humans and animal rights are used contextually to “save” specific nonhuman beings while not addressing the larger structural conditions that frame the lives of humans and nonhumans.

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