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Living Between Juniper and PalmNature, Culture, and Power in the Himalayas$
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Ben Campbell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198078524

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198078524.001.0001

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Animals Behaving Badly

Animals Behaving Badly

Indigenous Perceptions of Wildlife Protection1

(p.215) 6 Animals Behaving Badly
Living Between Juniper and Palm

Ben Campbell

Oxford University Press

The Langtang National Park prevents killing crop-raiding animals, but the practice of hunting and the game of sharing the hunted have been ideologically and historically central to social cooperation between in-laws, between villagers, and the state. Faced with the contemporary imbalance in terms of agency towards wildlife, the villagers’ pleas for a rational and socially accountable management of crop pests is in conflict with the categorical protection of the non-human under modern ‘naturalism’. Conservation in principle assigns the forest and its creatures into an external domain, where people’s acts of deterrence against crop raiding are configured as transgressive and malevolent deprivations of national property. The result is village production affords food crops for nature, and misbehaving nature takes it without asking. Animals do not recognize the dichotomy of nature and society imposed on villagers, which leaves them to speak with resignation of their crops as ‘food for the boars’

Keywords:   metaphor, perspectivism, affordance, hunting, affines, oral narrative, crop raiding, jackals

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