WHAT IS AN ANIMAL: LEARNING FROM THE PAST – LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

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YOTAM WERZANSKY-ORLAND

Abstract

Can western human society apply its definition of the term “animal” on itself? Is it possible that a “person” is not only human? In this article, I explore and analyze various and interdisciplinary doctrines and approaches towards nonhuman animals in order to question the current status-quo regarding nonhuman animals.


Throughout history, as Man developed self-awareness and the ability to empathize with others, hunters were associated with wolves and began to domesticate them and other animals. With the introduction of different religions and beliefs into human society, Man was given the lead in the food chain, and the status of the nonhuman animals became objectified and subject of the property of human animals. Common modern taxonomy identified and described approximately 1.9 million different species. Some estimate the total number of species on earth in 8.7 million. The Human is just one of 5,416 other species in the Mammal class and shares a place of honour among hundreds of other Primates and Great Apes.


It appears to be commonly and scientifically accepted that humans are animals. Humans, as other nonhuman animals, all meet the definitions of the term. However, it seems that there is a wide gap between the human-generated definitions (HGDs) and the human social practice that created a distinct line between humans and “animals”. This alienation is best illustrated by the commonly mistaken equivalence between the terms “human” and “person”, as at least some nonhuman animals answer to many other HGDs. In this article I try to show that a rational and logical interpretation of these definitions’ nonhuman animals (at least some), should be regarded as persons and to suggest an approach to implement in the future.

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How to Cite
WERZANSKY-ORLAND, Y. (2020). WHAT IS AN ANIMAL: LEARNING FROM THE PAST – LOOKING TO THE FUTURE. Society Register, 3(3), 19-37. https://doi.org/10.14746/sr.2019.3.3.02
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Articles
Author Biography

YOTAM WERZANSKY-ORLAND, Holon Institute of Technology

Yotam Werzansky-Orland is an adjunct professor at Bar Ilan University Faculty of Social Sciences, the College of Management Academic Studies School of Design and Innovation and Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) Faculty of Instructional Technologies (all in Israel), where he teaches Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property (IP) Strategic Management courses.

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