Maarten Reesink - Manimal

The Connection Between Us And Other Animals


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‘Our relations with other animals is full of contradictions. Ranging from love to cruelty. Maarten Reesink delivers a beautiful overview of our attempts to improve it. – Frans de Waal

Our knowledge of animals had been limited to Biology studies for centuries, describing the lives of species. Animal behavior was seen as the result of instinct. And animal intelligence was inferior, and without much evidence we assumed that animals are without emotions. For centuries, our relation with animals was completely hierarchical, we determined what we did with them. This was not a problem, since they would not respond and would hardly resist.

The philosophical and legal consequences to consider animals as individuals

The world has changed. Animals turned out to have language, culture, ideas, and feelings too. Many people would consider their dog or cat as part of the family, why would the same not apply to cows, chickens, elephants, and dolphins? What are the philosophical and legal consequences of such a question? What if all animals – including the non-human animals – are individuals and have a bio-graphy as well as a bio-logy.

Introduction to Human-Animal Studies with new insights from various fields

Manimal is an introduction into the fast growing field of Human-Animal Studies, which assembles insights from various disciplines like, philosophy, art, sociology, law, biology, and more. This book teaches you to look at animals with a different view, the view of an animal person.

Published in March 2021 | Paperback | 376 pages | ca. 150,000 words
Dutch edition published by Boom Publishers

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Maarten Reesink works at the department of Media and Culture at the Institute for Disciplinary Studies at the University of Amsterdam, where he lectures Human-Animal Studies since 2008. He was involved with the start of the Future Planet Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and the candidate-broadcast station called Piep, which is now called AnimalsToday.nl. He was part of the advisory Board for the Dutch Animal Political Party, and was a voluntary tour guide at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam. With colleagues and students he founded the Dutch Center for Human-Animal Studies.


Prologue; a book for animal persons

1. Animals and Human-Animal Studies
2. Animals in Philosophy
3. Animals in History
4. Animals in Popular Culture
5. Animals in Media Culture
6. Animals in Biology
7. Animals in and out the Wild
8. Animals in and around the House
9. Animals in Society
10. Animals in the Future

Epilogue; looking back with different eyes

Index of animal species
Index of names
Index of things

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