Every Life is Sacred: James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small as a Discourse in Animal Studies

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Dr. Panchali Mukherjee


The research paper attempts to study the text All Creatures Great and Small (1972) by James Herriot (1890-1918) in the context of “Animal Studies”. The text is a series of episodes that occur in the first two years of the veterinary practice of the protagonist James Herriot. The narrative is told through short anecdotes about training and healing animals, meeting farmers and other clients as well as participating in the culture of the Dales. The main focus of the paper in the context of “Animal Studies Literary Theory” is that to study the animals in various cross-disciplinary ways as represented in the text. The paper elucidates the notion of intersectionality in the context of the text thereby spelling out the analytical framework of interlocking systems of power and the way they impact the marginalized in this world. It illustrates the concept of Anthrozoology which deals with the interactions between humans and other animals thereby focusing on the politics of the species. The paper analyzes the notions of animality or brutality from a particular theoretical and ethical perspective thereby focusing on animal rights, the definition of humanity in relation to animals. The paper establishes that the differences between the species are not naturally arranged into the hierarchy of value. It also posits that the idea of a fixed, essential and definable boundary between the general concepts such as humans and animals is obsolete. Thus, it is proven that ideas such as animality and humanity are cultural concepts. The paper also deals with the aspect of animal welfare and the key role played by human beings in this sphere especially in the context of veterinary science. The paper takes into consideration the representation of animals as they are presented in the text.

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How to Cite
Dr. Panchali Mukherjee. (2021). Every Life is Sacred: James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small as a Discourse in Animal Studies. Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology, 25(6), 823–834. Retrieved from https://www.annalsofrscb.ro/index.php/journal/article/view/5498