This blog aims to discuss Donna Haraway’s notion of ‘companion species’ as mentioned in her book, The Companion Species Manifesto: dogs, people, and Significant Otherness. Haraway’s notion of ‘companion species’ refers to all species that has affected humans in any way. The idea is also to look at how these species are linked to humans historically on a social, biological and behavioural level. The exploration of this subject matter will take the form of a photo essay in which the stories and personal narratives of the relations between pets and humans will be documented.
Haraway refers to her writings as a “kinship claim” (Haraway 2007:8-9). The Companion Species Manifesto is thus communicating the fact that there is a certain type of bond, relationship and connection between the human and its companion species. Haraway mentions the constitutive, historical and ever-changing relationship that dogs share with humans throughout the years (Haraway 2007:12). During the nineteenth-century dogs were seen as more important than horses in some instances as they were kept as pets, warriors mourned their deaths and some dogs were even buried like humans according to Haraway (2007:13-14). These events can thus be drawn back to the existence of ‘kinship’ between humans and dogs since years ago.
Donna Haraway’s notion of ‘companion species’ has been discussed and the notion of kinship between humans and their companion species such as, dogs. This notion is strengthened by the use of personal narratives of relations between pets and humans thus proofing that, dogs are truly man’s best friend.
Haraway, D. 2007. The Companion Species Manifesto: dogs, people, and significant otherness. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.
Shelton, D. 2001. Pioneer pets: the dogs of Territorial Tucson: a photo essay. The Journal of Arizona History 42(4):445-472.