Companion Species

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Definition

The concept of companion species was first brought to into use by cyborg scholar Donna Haraway. She used the term as an exploration into the historical emergence of animals who are not meat animals, lab animals, wilderness animals, war dogs, vermin or pariah dogs, but who are part of a very particular historical relationship.[1]

In her Companion Species Manifesto, Haraway considers "dogs as the most significant example of companion species, the cyborg being but a toddler in our world of inter-species relations".[2]

Cell phones, for example, could be considered a companion species. They cry, and must be picked up. They must be plugged into a wall at night to be fed. They must be upgraded, protected, and cared for. In return, they provide information, connectivity and entertainment. They grow alongside humans and adapt to fit their needs, as humans adapt to fit the needs of the device.

References

  1. Haraway, Donna. Birth of the Kennel: A Lecture by Donna Haraway. August 2000. http://www.egs.edu/faculty/donna-haraway/articles/birth-of-the-kennel/ Accessed Jun 2010.
  2. Boulanger, Julie. Bookslut Review of the The Companion Species Manifesto by Donna Haraway. Nonfiction. Published May 2004. Accessed Oct 2011. http://www.bookslut.com/nonfiction/2004_05_002059.php