Animals & Society
Monday/Wednesday 8:30am – 10:20am
Office: O’Connor 336
Office Hours: Mon/Wed 10:30 – 12:30 or by appointment
Phone: (508) 626-4864
Why do we love some animals yet despise others? Why do people who salivate over hot dogs consider it unthinkable to eat their own puppy? This course explores the roles non-human animals play in our lives. We consider the social origins of our attitudes toward other species, as well as how we balance the idea that animals exist for our benefit with the notion of animal rights.
There are two books to purchase. They are available at the campus bookstore and can also be found online:
Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010.
Melanie Joy, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. San Francisco: Conari Press, 2010.
All other readings are linked below on the syllabus.
*Please bring assigned readings to class. For those that are online, either print them or access them electronically in class via your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
As a way of encouraging you to think about assigned material in advance of class and to facilitate rich discussions, you are to post on Blackboard in advance of the class meetings indicated on the schedule below.
To be eligible
for full credit, please post your reading response no later than 9pm the
night before the date we’ll be discussing the material you wrote about. That
deadline will enable me to read your posts and draw upon your ideas in our
discussions. I will give partial credit
for reading responses posted after 9pm the night before, and no credit for posts
made once class begins.
Your write-up should have two parts:
- A 2-3 paragraph critique of the reading – which differs from a summary. Whereas a summary highlights main points in the reading, a critique takes the discussion in a direction of your choosing. It explores themes or issues the reading raised for you. There are several ways you can frame your critique.
— Something you found interesting and why.
— Something you found confusing and why.
— An important topic left unexplored.
— Strengths/weaknesses of a study’s methodology.
— How a concept or idea applies to your own life.
- Raise 2 or more questions for our class discussion. These should not be “yes/no” questions but instead “how” or “why” questions, since these generate more discussion.
I understand sometimes there are justifiable reasons for missing a class, but if you miss more than two it will affect your grade. If you have to be absent, please let me know. There is no need to give me a doctor’s note. It is your responsibility to catch up on material you missed.
GRADING AND EVALUATION:
Your final grade will be based on the following:
40% Reading responses
20% Midterm paper (see Monday Oct 14th for link)
20% Final paper (see Tuesday December 17th for link)
20% Class attendance and participation
Given the Sociology Department’s commitment to maintaining the highest academic standards, students should be aware of the University’s policies concerning academic honesty, which are stated in the undergraduate catalog: “Integrity is essential to academic life. Consequently, students who enroll at Framingham State University agree to maintain high standards of academic honesty and scholarly practice. They shall be responsible for familiarizing themselves with the published policies and procedures regarding academic honesty.” Infractions include plagiarism, cheating on exams and quizzes, unauthorized collaboration with other students, and submitting work in more than one course for academic credit without prior approval of the instructor. The FSU Catalog defines plagiarism as “claiming as one’s own work the published or unpublished literal or paraphrased work of another.” Penalties for academic dishonesty may include receiving a failing grade for the course, academic suspension, and dismissal from the University.
NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:
By taking this class, you agree to abide by Framingham State University’s policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity. The University is dedicated to providing educational, working, and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people. The Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (“MCRA,” M.G.L. c. 12, §§ 11H, 11I, 11J) protects the rights of all residents of and visitors to Massachusetts to be free from bias-motivated threats, intimidation, and coercion that interfere with their civil rights. The MCRA protects the right to attend school, live peacefully, and enjoy other basic rights.
HOW WE THINK ABOUT AND CATEGORIZE ANIMALS
Wednesday, September 4th
Overview of the course
Monday, September 9th
*DUE: Reading response #1
Wednesday, September 11th
*READ: Melanie Joy, “To Love or to Eat?” and “Carnism: It’s Just the Way Things Are.” Pp. 11-35 in Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. San Francisco: Conari Press, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase. ***If you don’t yet have the book, you can access the two chapters below.
*DUE: Reading response #2
Monday, September 16th
*READ: Hal Herzog, “The Moral Status of Mice: The Use of Animals in Science.” Pp. 205-35 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase
. ***If you don’t yet have the book, you can access the two chapters below.
*DUE: Reading response #3
Wednesday, September 18th
*READ: *** Only Pp. 1-20 are essential…Temple Grandin, “My Story.” Pp. 1-26 in Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior. New York: Scribner, 2005.
*READ: *** Only Pp. 52-57 are essential…Temple Grandin, “How Animals Perceive the World.” Pp. 27-67 in Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior. New York: Scribner, 2005.
Monday, September 23rd
*READ: Hal Herzog, “The Cats in Our Houses, The Cows on Our Plates.” Pp. 237-62 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.
*DUE: Reading response #4
*SCREENED IN CLASS: Carl Safina: What Are Animals Thinking and Feeling?”
EXPOSING THE SYSTEM OF ANIMAL AGRICULTURE
Wednesday, September 25th
*WATCH: At least one of the videos here – found within “Investigations” at the top (You can still access “Investigations” even though the link I’ve provided may take you to a page that says “We’re sorry but this page has moved.”
*READ: Melanie Joy, “The Way Things Really Are.” Pp. 37-72 in Why We Love Dogs… This is one of the books required for purchase.
*DUE: Reading response #5
Monday, September 30th
No class – Rosh Hashanah
Wednesday, October 2nd
*READ: Melanie Joy, “Collateral Damage: The Other Casualties of Carnism.” Pp. 73-93 in Why We Love Dogs… This is one of the books required for purchase.
Monday, October 7th
*READ: Melanie Joy, Melanie Joy, “The Mythology of Meat: Justifying Carnism” and “Through the Carnistic Looking Glass: Internalized Carnism,” and “Bearing Witness: From Carnism to Compassion.” Pp. 95-150 in Why We Love Dogs… This is one of the books required for purchase.
*OPTIONAL EXTRA CREDIT: See details on Blackboard
*GUEST: Vallary Lokre — Animal rights activist
Wednesday, October 9th
No class – Yom Kippur
Monday, October 14th
No class – Columbus Day
Wednesday, October 16th
DUE: Reading response #6
Monday, October 21st*
*SCREENED IN CLASS: Bruce Friedrich, “The Next Global Agricultural Revolution”
*DUE: Reading response #7
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LIVING WITH PETS
Wednesday, October 23rd
*READ: Hal Herzog, Pp. 67-68, 72-74, and 75-78 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.
Monday, October 28th
Wednesday, October 30th
*DUE: Reading response #8
Monday, November 4th
*DUE: Reading response #9
ANIMALS AS HEALERS
Wednesday, November 6th
*WATCH: “Unexpected Miracles: Horses Healing Humans”
*DUE: Reading response #10
Monday, November 11th
No class – Veterans Day
Wednesday, November 13th
*DUE: Reading response #11
*SCREENED IN CLASS: “Dogs on the Inside” (67 minutes)
ANIMALS AS OBJECTS OF CURIOSITY
Monday, November 18th
*SCREENED IN CLASS: John Mooallem, “The Strange Story of the Teddy Bear and What it Reveals.”
Wednesday, November 20th
*DUE: Reading response #12
GUEST: Brandi Van Roo, Biology Department
Monday, November 25th
SHOWN IN CLASS: “Blackfish”
Wednesday, November 27th
No class – Thanksgiving break
Monday, December 2nd
No class – Snow day
Wednesday, December 4th
Monday, December 9th
SHOWN IN CLASS: “Unlocking the Cage”
Wednesday, December 11th
*DUE: Reading response #13