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I really enjoyed reading Dillard’s “Heaven and Earth In Jest.? It was interesting to read for many reasons. One point Dillard made that I agreed with was her point about steers. She said, “They are all bred beef: beef heard, beef hide, beef hocks. They’re a human product like rayon. They’re like a field of shoes. You can’t see through to their brains as you can with other animals; they have beef fat behind their eyes, beef stew.? What this says to me is how overly domesticated we have made some animals. She talks about cattle in this example. We only see them strictly in a utilitarian viewpoint. What can we use them for? They come into this world only for food, at least in this country you do not have undomesticated cattle roaming freely. For some reason this makes me mad. We have come in and totally taken over. We see everything on this earth as something we already own and should be able to do freely with. I don’t think we should be able to do that, I’m not saying animals should have the same rights as humans, but it seems ridiculous that we should be able to enslave an entire species of animals. It’s not just cattle, we’ve done it to any kind of house pet and its even been done to humans. I’m just ranting again.

I also liked how she finished her writing. Towards the end she says, “I am the arrow shaft, carved along my length by unexpected lights and gashes from the very sky, and this book is the straying trail of blood.? This ties in with what she had previously said about the hunting practices of some Native Americans. By her writing this paper we can follow her views and eventually learn what she had been thinking when this was written.

History of Cattle Domestication


I completely agree with your opinions on the mass domestication of animals. The cattle Dillard saw in the fields actually had it pretty easy in comparison to most of the factory farming that has been going on in our modern, immensely populated world. Many animals are chained in individual cages so small they cannot take a single step in their entire lives! Not only is it wrong for the animals, it is also taking a toll on our environment. One pound of beef alone requires 5,214 gallons of water.(University of California Agricultural Extension) Hmm, maybe I should have written my blog entry on this. Sorry it was such a long comment, this is just a subject I'm pretty passionate about.