Disability and the ahuman
DOI link for Disability and the ahuman
Disability and the ahuman book
In this chapter I suggest an undoing of human-animal relations, as I argue that the mere conceptualisation of “the animal” by the human disables whoever “the animal” is in actuality. By speculating about an animal’s identity we replace their intrinsic and undefinable personalities with our human assumptions about them. Through this, in an anthropocentric world, the animal can only ever exist as a human phantasm and is so objectified and disabled. I share my experience of caring for two animals, as it made me reflect upon my own anti-oppression activism and specifically on becoming ahuman: The dog I lived with could not autonomously care for herself. The duck, living in our backyard, was already dependent upon human providers and then, injured and in quarantine was subjected to human methods of care and healing. How was I, as a human, supposed to best respond to the needs of these animals? How could I know what they desire? Was I fetishising life over death and was I fetishising the animals as they made me feel needed, giving my being a purpose only in relation to their disability? How could I navigate the construction of my own madness in an ableist human world?