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(1993) goes further to valorise hunter-gatherer relations with animals as being more
'mature' than those currently prevailing in the West. Elaborating, Ingold (1994a)
suggests that hunter-gatherers generally view the distinction between humans and
animals as permeable and easily crossed, unlike what is taken as read in much Western
science and philosophy. Within this 'other' cosmology, humans and animals are
supposed to coexist in a relation of trust, rather than one of enmity, which means that,
if humans behave well towards animals, the latter can be trusted to provide for
humans, to give their lives for human sustenance. Although those peoples who live a
life of 'being-with' (as opposed to 'against') animals may genuinely have much to
teach urban Western societies, it must also be acknowledged that those very peoples
are themselves incredibly marginalised economically, politically, socially and
culturally in global spaces (Shiva and Mies 1993; Tapper 1994:56).
The domination of certain knowledges over others, as just discussed, also points
to related divisions which have been constructed between experts, elites and what we
might term lay, amateur or even popular knowledges, all of which have
consequences for which understandings of animals, and of what is an animal, become
sanctioned as 'proper'. All sorts of boundary-work are involved in social struggles
over which group has authority, and hence over which form of knowing is taken as
legitimate, and the participants in these struggles obviously all portray themselves—
and seek to persuade others to portray them—as the relevant 'experts' in the field
(Gieryn 1995). At one level of generalisation, it might be claimed that the legitimate
spokespersons for animals have become the biological sciences, as just indicated,
while the spokespersons of the human world have become those known as politicians,
at least in the more developed areas of the world. This is a key division within what
Latour (1993: Chap. 2) has termed 'the modern constitution'. 12
Yet the divisions between expert and lay knowledges, or between elite and
popular, are often not so clear-cut and opposed as such a binary implies (Chartier
1984). For instance, pro- and anti-hunting groups vie for recognition as the 'right'
spokespeople for certain animals, as do anti- and pro-vivisectionists, and in both
cases it is possible to find strange admixtures of expert, lay, political and moral
discourses on both sides of the anti and pro schisms (see also Woods, this volume).
Similarly, in Britain a distinction which arose in the later nineteenth century
between 'amateur' naturalists undertaking field studies and 'professional' scientists
undertaking laboratory-based experimental work would appear to reflect a rigorous
separation of powers, of purposes, in at least some of the biological sciences. In
practice, though, it is clear that the experts in their laboratories had to undertake
fairly large amounts of fieldwork, especially in the new field and oceanographic
research stations of the time. Moreover, professionals also often had to rely upon
amateur naturalists for conducting surveys of populations and distributions of birds
and other organisms. The British ecologist Charles Elton (1933) even remarked on
the usefulness of the public in collecting raw data on animals for the scientist, just as
the public could be useful for the police when seeking evidence to help solve a
crime. This being said, the likes of Elton did not envisage a meeting of equals, since
they still operated with a hierarchy of knowledge positioning the amateur's local
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