By Elspeth Probyn
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For many years, marine scientists Robert and Alice Jane Lippson have traveled the internal Coast—the rivers, backwaters, sounds, bays, lagoons, and inlets stretching from the Chesapeake Bay to the Florida Keys—aboard their trawler, Odyssey . The end result in their leisurely trips, existence alongside the interior Coast is a guidebook to the vegetation, animals, and habitats present in some of the most biologically various areas on the earth.
100 years in the past, a beached whale might were greeted via a mob wielding flensing knives; at the present time, humans convey harnesses and boats to aid it go back to the ocean. The whale is likely one of the such a lot awe-inspiring and clever animals in nature, sharing a fancy courting with people that has notably developed over the centuries.
A person who has ever stood at the seashores of Monterey Bay, gazing the rolling ocean waves and frolicking otters, is familiar with it's a targeted position. yet even citizens in this idyllic California coast would possibly not notice its complete background. Monterey begun as a common paradise, yet turned the poster baby for commercial devastation in John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row,and is now probably the most celebrated beaches on the earth.
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Food politics, for instance, has been overwhelmingly focused on terrestrial animal protein. Is this simply because it’s easier to care about a cow than a lobster? Classic animal rights texts such as Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation hesitated about where to draw the line. In the 1990 edition, Singer recounts, “With creatures like oysters, doubts about a capacity for pain are considerable; and in the ﬁrst edition of this book I suggested that somewhere between shrimp and an oyster seems as good a place to draw the line as any” (174).
Philip Steinberg’s historical geography of the ocean gives depth to our current understandings of marine space. He takes inspiration from the thoughts of Strabo, the Greek geographer. Writing some two thousand years ago, Strabo saw in the ocean a space of comingling with human beings: “We are in a certain sense amphibious, not exclusively connected with the land but with the sea as well” (Steinberg 1999b, 368). Steinberg focuses on the ﬂows of capital across time and space, and he identiﬁes how the maritime became associated with ﬁxity and with stasis.
To return to my question, how do we embody a care for the sea and its dependents? Some of us humans are seemingly out of our element when it comes to the seas and oceans, although many argue that humans evolved from the sea. But we—the nonseafarers—are by and large lost in the waters of what we call Earth, which is of course three- quarters seawater. Stefan Helmreich’s work is instructive here, arguing as he does that while seawater has long been implicit in cultural theories and in fact underlies many of the now-overused metaphors of globalization (especially “ﬂows”), we need to bring to the surface the materiality of the oceanic.
Eating the Ocean by Elspeth Probyn