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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 22 September 2020

Your evening longread: Why do we keep some animals as pets?

It’s a coronavirus-free zone as we bring you an interesting longread each evening to take your mind off the news.

Image: Shutterstock/Ovchinnikova Stanislava

EVERY WEEK, WE bring you a round-up of the best longreads of the past seven days in Sitdown Sunday.

And now, every weeknight, we bring you an evening longread to enjoy which will help you to escape the news cycle. 

We’ll be keeping an eye on new longreads and digging back into the archives for some classics.

Keeping a pet

This thought-provoking article examines our relationship with pets, and what our treatment of them tells us about humans.

(The Guardian, approx 15 mins reading time)

In an astute and moving essay, Praise Song for the Unloved Animals, the American writer Margaret Renki pays tribute to the role played in the complex systems of life and renewal by some of the reviled creatures of the Earth, among them opossum, vulture, spider, wasp, bat and snake, and their place in the cardinal cycles of consumption and continuity. She writes beautifully of the red bat’s “canny wings”, of mosquitos providing food for the “chittering chimney swifts” and of the “glossy vulture” – often mistaken in flight for eagles, ospreys or hawks, “creatures we thoughtlessly love much more” – whose eating of the bodies of dead creatures is a vital stage in the process of returning flesh to life. She reminds us that perhaps, had our love been different, the world might have been, too.

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