chapter  15
14 Pages

Citizen Snake

Uncoiling Human-Bindings for Life
BySusan Pyke

Systems of kinship between Australia's first peoples and snakes undermine ideas of a 'natural' human/snake antipathy. To love snakes may be part of a move away from the destructive psychoses caused by unreconciled territorial disputes. The snakes are respected and trusted citizens in Snip Hart's co-affective world. Co-affective citizenship extends Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka's commendable effort to theorize new relational rights between humans and other species. Focusing on companion animals, Donaldson and Kymlicka argue that "citizenship relations" begin where humans and non-humans "actively foster contact, trust and reciprocity within communities". This citizenship would give non-humans equal rights to enjoy the places in which they live their lives. Donaldson and Kymlicka acknowledge that sovereignty is difficult in the places humans and non-humans co-inhabit and offer the resolution of denizenship. Under this framework, non-humans are "co-residents of human communities but not co-citizens", operating under a "looser" set of "rights and responsibilities".