Animals Erased

discourse, ecology and reconnection with the natural world


Animals are disappearing, vanishing, dying out,
not just in the physical sense of becoming
extinct, but in the sense of being erased from our
consciousness. Increasingly, interactions with
animals happen at a remove: mediated by nature
programmes, books, magazines, the internet or
cartoons, or framed by the enclosures of zoos
and aquariums. In this thought-provoking book,
Arran Stibbe takes us on a journey of discovery,
revealing the many ways in which language
constructs our relationships with animals and the
natural world.

Both academically rigorous and deeply
insightful, Animals Erased analyses the use of
language across a variety of discourses and
shows the reader how language forms patterns of
thought that distance us from nature. The book
examines the language used by animal product
industries, animal rights movements, ecological
reports, newspapers, and textbooks. The analyses
reveal how hidden ideologies embedded in these
discourses construct animals as objects,
machines, resources for human exploitation, or
passive victims. In his search for an alternative to
discourses which erase animals, the author turns
to the traditional culture of Japan. Within Zen
philosophy, haiku poetry, and even
contemporary children's animated films, animals
appear as active agents, leading their own lives
for their own purposes, and of value in
themselves. The book concludes by considering
the ecological implications of the erasure of
animals, arguing that it is necessary to reconnect
with the reality of animals if we are to build
human systems that work with, rather than
against, nature.

Arran Stibbe currently resides in Cheltenham,
UK, where he is a Reader in Ecological
Linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire.
His academic background is in both linguistics
and human ecology, and he combines the two in
his teaching and research in the area of
ecolinguistics. He is founder of the Language
and Ecology Research Forum (
and editor of The Handbook of Sustainability
Literacy (

Published by Wesleyan University Press

For revew copies contact
Stephanie Elliott (860) 685-7723 or

224 pp. 12 illus. 6 tables 6 x 8-1/4”
£61.95 cloth, 978-0-8195-7231-8
£22.50 paperback, 978-0-8195-7232-5
$19.99, eBook, 978-0-8195-7233-2
Publication Date: April 6, 2012

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