April 6th

The story from the Trickster anthology that stuck with me the most was the one of the deadly beaver, which essentially baits the men by offering them a piece of its own flesh. Because the beaver is offering the meat as bait, it’s turning its edibility into a strength. By highlighting his edibility he’s also establishing kinship with the men (both humans and animals are edible, and also offering his flesh is an action, which the Harde suggests is needed for establishing kinship) and becoming a part of them, influencing them from the inside. Ratelle would say that the beaver is subverting the norm that makes the eater a subject and the consumed a thing, occupying both categories. Questions: what kinds of actions establish kinship between humans and animals? Which of these actions do we engage in regularly and which are mostly unavailable to us in the contemporary world? In what ways does the contemporary focus on pets detract from more wholistic connections to the animal world and in what ways does it accentuate our kinship with animals?

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