Les animaux et les hommes victimes des conquêtes

Animal & Society Institute published a good piece by Corey Wrenn

Explorers Race to the Poles, Animals Lose 

L’article de Wrenn est important à plusieurs égards. Peu d’entre nous prenons conscience de la violence sous-jacente aux grands récits des conquêtes.

Ceux qui sont responsables de l’oppression et du meurtre de ceux qui sont considérés plus primitifs (moins civilisés) sont présentés comme des “héros”.

La violence envers les Inuits et les animaux est réduite au rang de non-événements. Ces violences sont considérées “nécessaires” pour poursuivre l’objectif supposé noble de l’exploration et de la conquête.  La légitimité de ces expéditions d’exploration et de colonisation est rarement remise en question.

Étudier les nombreux préjugés et angles morts moraux de ces “valeureux explorateurs” devrait nous rendre plus sensibles et attentifs aux nôtres.

Nous sommes dans une position où il est possible de considérer les explorateurs et les conquérants comme des criminels qui ont volé, violé et opprimé des êtres sensibles et intelligents – parfois des nations entières – même si les films et histoires officielles tentent encore de cacher cette réalité sous des histoire de courage et d’héroïsme.


Race to the Poles is an American documentary produced for Discovery Channel in 2000.  The film follows the international competition between America, Britain, Norway, and other countries keen on being the first to plant their flag.  Typical of many historical stories told from a Western perspective, the experiences of white males take precedence, while vulnerable populations are often relegated to the sidelines or ignored altogether.

Arctic exploration involved a great deal of heroism as men scrambled for fame and glory.  Much of their successes (and near successes–it took countless attempts before the poles were finally reached) were heavily dependent upon the native population that assisted them.

It is doubtful as to whether the European and American explorers were welcome in the first place, as Inuits, their land, and their waters have been heavily exploited by outsiders over the centuries.  Explorers often adopted a paternalistic attitude toward them.  It is known that Commander Peary, American explorer in the North Pole, took a 14 year old Inuit girl as a “mistress” (or what some might call a sex slave).  Many other polar explorers also sexually exploited native women and abandoned the resulting children.


The exploitation of Nonhuman Animals was also central to the explorations.  Hundreds of dogs were transported by ship and pushed across hundreds of miles of ice in sub-zero weather.  Peary commented:  “Other dogs may work as well or travel as fast and far when fully fed; but there is no dog in the world that can work so long in the lowest temperatures on practically nothing to eat.”  Many were run to death.  Others might be set free to “fend for themselves” (i.e. die) in the icy abyss.  Weak dogs were sometimes killed to be cannibalized by their languishing companions.

Ponies, too, were pulled into the race.  British explorer Captain Robert Scott brought several Nordic ponies who were not able to withstand the temperatures and had difficulty walking in the snow.  Some starved to death, but Scott reports shooting the rest.”

“Indeed, the entire expedition was thoroughly dependent upon the life and death of other animals.”

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE by COREY WRENN: http://hascinema.blogspot.ca/2013/06/explorers-race-to-poles-animals-lose.html


Corey Wrenn Blog : http://academicabolitionistvegan.blogspot.ca/