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Animals and Society in Brazil, from the Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries

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Format: Book- Hardback
ISBN-13: 9781912186174
Author: Ana Lucia Camphora
Publication Date: 15-Mar-2021
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This pioneering overview of how social relations were constructed
as interspecies relations offers the reader a starting
point for bringing these encounters into a historical narrative
that unfolds over the course of several centuries of Portuguese
South American colonial life. In showing the decisive importance
of non-human animals in the development of Brazilian
society, this volume provides a point of departure for the construction
of an international corpus of knowledge in the fields
of environmental history and human-animal studies, adding
complexity to existing narratives and throwing new light on
the role of Latin American societies within the global picture.
Brazil, the largest country in South America, is home to some
of the planet’s richest fauna, is ranked as one of the world’s
largest meat producers (beef, chicken and pork) and also has a
huge population of pets, estimated at 54.2 million dogs, 39.8
million birds and 23.9 million cats, according to a 2018 survey.
Non-human animals have always been there, domesticated
or wild, alongside their human counterparts. These sets
of relationships configure what is still a less-understood part of
Brazilian history. In its six chapters, this book considers the
exotic wildlife diet base adopted by European explorers; the
uses of animals for medicinal purposes; intense hunting and
whaling activities; and the introduction of domesticated animals
from Europe and other Portuguese colonies, focusing on
the decisive contributions of cattle, horses and mules in the occupation
and colonisation of the extensive Brazilian territory,
and the precarious system of meat supply in the-then capital,
Rio de Janeiro, in the nineteenth century.

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