Hamline rel 110 syllabus by oG0m3HE


             (Syllabus modified for TLOV Conference, June, 2008)
                          FYSEM 1010-17, Fall 2007
                     TTh 12:50-2:20, BUSH LIBRARY 306

Professor:              Mark Berkson
                        Department of Religion
Office:                 LC 231W
Phone:                  523-2918
E-mail:                 mberkson@hamline.edu

I. Course Description

Why do we affectionately gaze at and pet the newborn calves and piglets at the State Fair
baby animal tent and then have a burger with bacon at a nearby food stand? Why do we
differ so much in the treatment of our beloved family pets and the animals that are used for
food or cosmetic testing? Why are most works of children’s literature filled with animals to
which children feel a deep connection, and at the same time our culture emphasizes our
separation from and superiority to non-human animals? Why do some religions
prominently feature animal sacrifice while others strictly forbid harming any kind of animal?

From the time of our earliest origins to the present, human beings have been living with,
breeding, loving, killing, worshipping and using non-human animals. In this seminar, we
will ask two primary, closely related questions: 1) What do we know about non-human
animals? and 2) How should we treat them?

The first question will lead us to examine a range of issues regarding the characteristics,
capacities and experiences of animals. What features, if any, are possessed by humans but
not by other animals, and what is the moral relevance of these differences? We will evaluate
the various answers that have been given over the years to the question “What makes
humans unique?” We will then analyze and critique the treatment of non-human animals in
a variety of contexts, including killing animals for food (both in small family farms and large
factory farms, as well as by hunters), using animals for medical testing, putting animals in
zoos and circuses, training working animals, and having animals for pets. We will look at
the way animals are viewed and treated in a range of religious and philosophical traditions,
we will hear from a number of guest speakers (from vegans and animal rights activists to
hunters and scientists who use animals for experiments), and we will explore the ways
animals are presented in popular culture. We will try to formulate an answer to the
questions, “Are animals essentially resources available for our use or are they members of
our extended family? Can they be both?”

II. Learning Goals

       In this course, we will aim to:

•     Deepen our understanding of the range of issues surrounding animals and the way
humans relate to and treat them. We will take a multidisciplinary approach to the topic as
we explore the many perspectives from which to approach the topic of animals – scientific,
anthropological, political, economic, religious, philosophical, literary, historical, etc.

•       Cultivate reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking skills. We will learn how to
understand the meaning of difficult material and how to identify weak or irrational
positions, and unsupported claims (in the work of others as well as in our own minds). We
will learn how to develop and defend a position, and how to articulate it to others both
orally and in writing.

•      Learn how to work collaboratively. We will learn to participate effectively in a
conversation that might involve passionate disagreement. This will require managing
conflict with civility, respect and sophistication.

•      Learn how to learn most effectively. We will try to gain a deeper understanding of
what goes into the act of interpretation. We will acquire expertise in the use of resources to
support research and writing - where and how to gather data, how to analyze and make
sense of it, where to go to get help with particular problems, etc. We will develop good
study and work habits.

•       Learn to question - yourself, each other, the media, and authority figures (such as
politicians, “experts” and even your professors!). Learn the importance of developing and
sustaining an open, inquisitive, skeptical, incisive mind.

    Central to this course (and any course in the humanities) is the careful, appreciative and critical
reading of texts. You will be expected to have done all of the required reading, thoroughly and
thoughtfully, before class. Take notes on what you read and be prepared to discuss the reading in
class. The following texts are required for the course:

       Food for Thought, ed. by Steve Sapontzis
       Ishmael, Daniel Quinn
       The Lives of Animals, J.M. Coetzee
       The Ten Trusts, Marc Bekoff and Jane Goodall
       Course Reader
       The Course Reader is available only at Englewood Printing, 710 Snelling Ave.
September 11       What is an Animal? What Separates Humans from Other Animals?
Clive Wynne, “What are Animals?” from Do Animals Think? 1-12
Marc Bekoff, Minding Animals, 40-55
Anna Peterson, Being Human, 28-31, 41-2
David DeGrazia, “On the Question of Personhood Beyond Homo Sapiens,” 40-51
Due: Essay on The Things They Carried

September 13        Animal Intelligence
Minding Animals, 84-99
Stephen Budiansky, If a Lion Could Talk, 1-20, 192-4
Jonathan Balcombe, Pleasurable Kingdom, 24-46
Optional: Donald Griffin, Animal Minds, 24-7
Videos: A Conversation with Koko; Animal Intelligence

September 18          Animal Emotions, Pleasure, and Morality
Ten Trusts, 1-18, 44-67
Minding Animals, 100-119 (optional), 120-132
Frans de Waal, Good Natured, 1-13 (and photos)
Pleasurable Kingdom, 68-73, 146-154, 208-227
Due: Personal essay assignment (2 copies)

September 20       Humans and Animals: Working Together/Animal Training
Vicki Hearne, Adam’s Task, 18-31, 42-76, 206-9
Raimond Gaita, The Philosopher’s Dog, 1-8
Lawrence Galdon, “Best Friend, Best Therapy,” 185-8
Guest Speaker: Officer Mark Ficcadenti from St. Paul Police Canine Unit

September 25       Humans and Animals: Teachers and Students
Daniel Quinn, Ishmael

September 27         Looking At Animals: Representation and Entertainment
John Berger, “Why Look at Animals?” 3-28
Ten Trusts, 19-32
David Hancocks, A Different Nature, xiii-xx
Bob Mullan and Garry Marvin, Zoo Culture, 24-30
Videos: Africa: The Serengeti; Microcosmos; The Crocodile Hunter

October 2           Zoos
Optional: Zoo Culture, 46-67, 157-160
Stephen St. C. Bostock, Zoos and Animal Rights, 59-72, 102-123, 182-197
Dale Jamieson, “Against Zoos,” 132-142

October 4          Ethics and The Treatment of Animals: Philosophical Perspectives
FFT, 108-111
Gaverick Matheny, “Utilitarianism and Animals,” 13-25
Tom Regan, “The Case for Animal Rights,” 13-26
October 9          The Debate over Animal Rights
Carl Cohen, The Animal Rights Debate (“Why Animals Don’t Have Rights”), 3-9, 27-40
Tom Regan, The Animal Rights Debate, 151-5, 207-222
Martha Nussbaum, “Beyond ‘Compassion’ and ‘Humanity,’ 299-319

October 11           Feminist Perspectives on Animals
FFT, chapters 20, 21, 23, 27

October 16          Animals as Food: Factory Farms
Erik Marcus, Meat Market, 5-13
Ten Trusts, 32-8
Jim Mason and Mary Finelli, “Brave New Farm,” 104-122
Optional: Clare Druce and Philip Lymbery, “Outlawed in Europe,” 123-131
Peter Singer and Jim Mason, The Way We Eat, 21-68 (optional), 270-284
Video: Meet Your Meat

October 18           The Debate Over Meat I
FFT, chapters 8, 9
Michael Allan Fox, Deep Vegetarianism, 76-80, 39-53
Video: Peaceable Kingdom
Discussion of PETA Ad Campaign

October 23          Hamline Plan Presentation
Meet in Kay Fredericks Room, Klas Center 3rd Floor
Read FFT Chapters 5 and 6
Due: Critical Review of Article

October 25            The Debate Over Meat II/Animals as Clothing
FFT, chapters 7, 10, 12
Video: The Witness

October 30           Hunting and Predation
Nelson Bryant, “Behold the Hunter,” 167-176
Nelson Bryant, “In Defense of Hunting,” 176-180
FFT chapters 24, 25, 29 (optional – chapter 2)
Ten Trusts, 82-9
Erik Marcus, “The Ethics of Hunting,” 211-216
Optional: “Sample Hunter Harassment Statute,” 165-6
Guest Speaker: Mark Johnson, Executive Director, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association

November 1          Animal Experimentation
Carl Cohen, “The Proven Accomplishments of Animal Research,” 119-122
Michael Allen Fox, The Case for Animal Experimentation, 1-12, 91-100, 165-8, 194-206
Frances Chen, “A Critical Review of Animal Experimentation,” 145-152
Ten Trusts, 38-43
Guest Speaker: Jodi Goldberg, Hamline University Dept. of Biology
November 6           Literature and Philosophy: A Writer Thinks About Animals
J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals, “The Philosophers and the Animals”
Preparation for Fall Fair

November 8           FALL FAIR
Preparation for Fall Fair Display

November 13          Literature and Philosophy II: A Writer Thinks About Animals
J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals, “The Poets and the Animals”; Reflections by Marjorie Garber and
Peter Singer

November 15         Introduction to Bush Library/CDC
Meet in Bush Library
Read Paul Waldau, “Religion and Animals,” 69-81
Read Religious Vegetarianism, 1-10
Read FFT Chapter 14
Due: Exploring the Major essay

November 20       Christianity and Animals
FFT Chapter 15
Matthew Scully, Dominion, ix-xiii, 1-46

November 27           Asian Religion and Animals: Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism
Roshi Philip Kapleau, “Meat Eating and the First Precept,” 84-6
The Dalai Lama, “Compassion for All Sentient Beings,” 87-9
Sources of Indian Tradition, 52-5, 62-7
Interview with Muni Nandibhushan Vijayji, 23-41
Videos: Holy Cow, The Jains

November 29          Jewish, Native American & Hmong Perspectives/Animal Sacrifice
FFT, chapters 13, 19 (optional – chapter 17)
Rabbi Arthur Green, “Vegetarianism: A New Kashrut for Our Age,” 87-9
Optional: Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, 212-137, 150-163
Optional: Rene Girard, “Sacrifice as Sacral Violence and Substitution,” 71-5, 83-5
Ann Fadiman, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, 106-9
Video: The Split Horn

December 4          Animals and the Law/Animals as Persons? Property?
Ariel Simon, “Cows as Chairs,” 3-8
Neha Jadeja, “Why the Status of Animals Should Remain as Property,” 17-23
David Hambrick, “A Legal Argument Against Animals as Property,” 55-7
Temple Grandin, “Animals are not Things,” 205-210
David Favre and Murray Loring, Animal Law, 5-15, 47-9, 121-144
Optional: Margaret Jasper, Animal Rights Law, 7-43
Guest Speaker: Barbara J. Gislason, Attorney (specialist in animal law)

December 6         Animal Sacrifice and Religious Freedom: Santeria and the Supreme Court
Ronald Flowers, That Godless Court?, 36-8
David O’Brien, Animal Sacrifice and Religious Freedom, 116-152

December 11          Activism on Behalf of Animals
Matt Ball, “Living and Working in Defense of Animals,” 181-6
Bruce Friedrich, “Effective Advocacy,” 187-195
Henry Spira and Peter Singer, “Ten Points for Activists,” 214-224
Guest Speakers: Animal Activists Panel (See below)
Due: Position/Research Paper

December 13          Concluding Thoughts/Review
Ten Trusts, 90-183 (excerpts)

Panel - ANIMAL ACTIVISTS: Passions, Perspectives and Prospects

What motivates people to devote themselves to the welfare of non-human animals? In what
ways do the various animal welfare organizations differ in terms of the goals they set and the
strategies they use to attain them? What are the prospects for change in the human attitude
toward and treatment of non-human animals? Hear from a number of activists who will
share their stories and views:

Jill Fritz, Minnesota/Wisconsin State Director, The Humane Society of the United States

Gilbert Schwartz, Campaign Coordinator, Compassionate Action for Animals

Amy O'Malley, Hamline student and founder of HARC, the Hamline Animal Rights

Jon Novick, founder and owner, Fast and Furless vegan boutique

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