Books  General Natural History  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion 

Animals Erased: Discourse, Ecology, and Reconnection with the Natural World

A linguist explores our relationships with animals and the natural world

By: Arran Stibbe (Author)

232 pages, 12 illustrations, 6 tables

Wesleyan University Press

Paperback | Apr 2012 | #199216 | ISBN-13: 9780819572325
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £22.50 $27/€25 approx
Hardback | May 2012 | #199217 | ISBN-13: 9780819572318
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £62.95 $77/€70 approx

About this book

Animals are disappearing, vanishing, and 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 programs, books, and cartoons; framed by the enclosures of zoos and aquariums; distanced by the museum cases that display lifeless bodies. In this thought-provoking book, Arran Stibbe takes us on a journey of discovery, revealing the many ways in which language affects our relationships with animals and the natural world. Animal-product industry manuals, school textbooks, ecological reports, media coverage of environmental issues, and animal-rights polemics all commonly portray animals as inanimate objects or passive victims. In his search for an alternative to these negative forms of discourse, Stibbe 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.

Please note: The hardback is un-jacketed, the cover illustration is for the paperback edition only

“Amazingly clear and incisive readings of a wide range of discourses related to animals and ecology. With an impressive eye for detail and the ‘big picture,’ Stibbe gives real insights into the relationship between language, values, and actions.”
- Karla Armbruster, coeditor of Beyond Nature Writing

“Those of us of cultures of the land – both working with and, yes, consuming animals – will applaud Arran Stibbe’s analysis of the loss of soul when right relationship is discarded.”
- Alastair McIntosh, Centre for Human Ecology, and author of Soil and Soul




- Introduction: Vanishing Animals
- Destructive Discourses: Animals within a Symbolic World
- As Charming as a Pig
- From Flu-like Virus to Deadly Disease
- Counter-discourses: Animals in Ecology and Environmentalism
- The Curtailed Journey of the Atlantic Salmon
- Boyd’s Forest Dragon or the Survival of Humanity
- From Counter-discourses to Alternative Discourses: Environmental Education in Japan
- Haiku and Beyond
- Zen and the Art of Environmental Education
- Conclusion


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Arran Stibbe is a reader in ecological linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire. He is the founder of the Language and Ecology Research Forum (

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