This chapter discusses how humans dealt with animals through the sense of touch. After all, intimate contact with animals was part of daily life in the premodern world. They were everywhere; and although zoological symbolism associated the sense of touch with the tortoise and the spider, all animals had a general association with touch. This was due to touch being considered the primary sense of the body and animals being considered virtually all body. Furthermore, many familiar animals were eminently touchable (furry, sleek and warm)—and their speechlessness made touch an essential medium for human–animal interaction. Thus, the chapter looks at the ways in which humans interacted with and perceived animals—through companionship, through distinctions between the human and the bestial, through the capacity for reason, and through suffering.
Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.