Memory, animals and nature
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Memory, animals and nature book
This chapter discusses the power of social memory specifically with regard to the history of nature: a history generally composed, written and categorised by its human contestants. There is no 'equal to' between the Cetacean and the Jewish holocaust, neither does the 'other' holocaust of the whales mitigate the unique and radical horror of the human holocaust. The importance of the Cetacean and the animal holocaust more generally lies in its prefiguration of the human one: the use of highly rationalised and weaponised methods of slaughter and transportation, the visual imagery and tableau of utter destruction, the pieces of body cast into the fire and the dispersal of the memorial remnants of the massacres. The deposition places of the disjecta membra of the animal dead are perhaps the spaces with which to begin to understand how the 'social' memory of animals can be understood through their material remnants.