In 1928, Henry Beston stated regarding animals in his book, The Outermost House: “They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.” Animals Are Outside Today is a journey examining underneath this net, offering us the chance to contemplate our intersections with animals and consider the multi-layered impact humans have on other living beings.
Contradictions define human relationships with nonhuman animals. We love and admire them; we are fascinated by them; we encourage our children to learn about them. Animals are embedded within core human history—evident in our stories, rituals, and symbols. At the same time, some people eat, wear and cage them with seeming indifference, consuming them and their images in countless ways.
The human connection to other animals is largely developed through assimilation and appropriation—usually without consideration of the animals' individuality or lack of rights. Nonhuman animals are absorbed into human lives, and we do not see the steps involved in their consumption and are shielded from witnessing the reality of their lives and deaths. This series moves within contradictions, questioning whether a sacred, primal connection to nature that animals might convey and inspire will survive alongside our evolution.