A bestial Brave New World is on the horizon: Some 50,000 creatures around the globe—including whales, leopards, flamingoes, bats and snails—are being equipped with digital tracking devices. The data gathered and studied by major scientific institutes about their behavior will not only aid in conservation efforts and warn us about tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but radically transform our relationship to the natural world. With a broad cultural and historical lens, this book examines human ties with animals, from domestic pets to the soaring popularity of bird watching and kitten images on the Web. Will millennia of exploration soon be reduced to experiencing wilderness via smartphone? Contrary to pessimistic fears, author Alexander Pschera sees the Internet as creating a historic opportunity for a new dialogue between man and nature.
Foreword by Martin Wikelski, Director, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. The book includes eight color photos and an index.
Excerpted in Scientific American magazine.
Animal Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution
Alexander Pschera, Elisabeth Lauffer (Trans.)
New Vessel Press, 2016
Alexander Pschera, born in 1964, has published several books on the Internet and media. He studied German, music and philosophy at Heidelberg University. He lives near Munich where he writes for the German magazine Cicero as well as for German radio.
Elisabeth Lauffer is the recipient of the 2014 Gutekunst Translation Prize. After graduating from Wesleyan University she lived in Berlin where she worked as a commercial translator and then obtained a master’s in education from Harvard. She now lives in Vermont, where she is the Assistant Director of the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy.
“Charts the new digital frontier in the human-animal relationship. Gone are the days of an untouched natural world. We have entered wilderness 2.0 … [An] intriguing book.” —The Washington Post
“Bold and fascinating … proposing that the Internet—and other digital technology—offers an opportunity to rediscover our animals as more than abstracted images but as autonomous individuals with inherent value. A truly thought-provoking book for animal lovers and technology enthusiasts alike.” — Kirkus Reviews
“At last, a convincing explanation for why waldrapps are on Twitter and quolls on Facebook. In beautiful, philosophical prose, Alexander Pschera even explains why cats rule the Internet. The first book that brings nature and technology together with animals as individuals and streams of big data alike.” — David Rothenberg, author of Bug Music and Survival of the Beautiful
“Humanized pets, industrialized meat, endless sad extinctions: Must our animal future be so bleak? Not according to Alexander Pschera, who envisions humans and wild animals interacting on matters like climate change and conservation through electronic tracking. A fascinating account full of novel and unexpected examples.” — Richard W. Bulliet, author of Hunters, Herders and Hamburgers: The Past and Future of Human-Animal Relationships
and Professor of History Emeritus, Columbia University
“This surprising book offers a great shout-out to the next phase in our relationship with non-human beings: our brand-newly emerging recognition that they, too, are individuals, leading individual lives.” — Carl Safina, author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel and Song for the Blue Ocean
“Animal Internet is a most important book. This excellent work could be a strong catalyst for people to … become re-enchanted with all sorts of mysterious and fascinating animals, both local and distant. By shrinking the world it will bring humans and other animals together in a multitude of ways that only a few years ago were unimaginable.” — Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, author of Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence