Farm children's experience with animals is changing. Farm animal welfare is promoted, pest control still occurs but is less visible than in the past, and environmental messages are pervasive. Differences between farm and urban children's experiences are less distinct than in the past. This article contributes to our understanding of change by studying autobiographies written by farm people since 1990 and provides a baseline of farm children's human-animal relationships to compare with contemporary experiences. Although less focused than interviews with elderly people, the autobiographies provide a holistic view of where animals fit with farm children's other concerns. Farming income in the first half of the twentieth century was often low and the pressure this put on people and animals was evident. A hierarchy of relationships from bonding with pets to domination of production animals and pests was strongly established with children showing gendered responses to many aspects of farm life. The intertwined themes of family and pioneering appear to have shaped what people remembered and what they wished to draw attention to in their books - the nature of autobiographical memory is discussed to assist in interpretation of the data.
Farm children's understanding of animals in changing times: Autobiographies and farming culture1
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Alison Loveridge; Farm children's understanding of animals in changing times: Autobiographies and farming culture1. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2009; 35 (1): 28–38. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2009.004
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