Friday, August 10, 2007

Kids & Pigs

Today's photo comes from the normally crusty proprietor of the wonderful yet dismal Axis of Evel Knievel, the blog that got things rolling for me a couple of years ago. This cute picture of Audrey's first encounter with a piglet made me think of both the biophilia hypothesis and a recent interview on (here) with Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. While I'm not worried about Audrey, as she'll be growing up in Alaska and its outside all the time, the photo did make me ponder the ways in which today's kids might face an increasing disconnect not just from nature but from animals as well. While this is less likely to be the case with pet animals, especially dogs and cats, who seem increasingly central to middle-class identity in contemporary America, I'm not sure that aside from the occasional petting zoo or field trip to a dairy (a highlight of my elementary school education) that kids have too much exposure to farm and food animals other than in their processed (and increasingly abstracted) form. Do kids make a connection between the chicken and the nugget? the piglet and the pork chop? What might be the implications? Just a few random thoughts, poorly linked together, for today...

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