The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


The Beasts Within

From household pets to beasts of burden, domesticated animals are a major part of American life – and we spend billions of dollars each year looking after them. But what drives our desire to bring animals under our control in the first place? And how has that desire manifested itself over time? We take a deep-dive into the history of human-animal interaction, and try to figure out how our lives have been shaped by the animals whose lives we control.

From the contributions made by pigs in the colonization of America itself, to the lethal justice carried out on circus elephants centuries later, the Guys and their guests explore what our relationships with animals have meant and continue to mean, and whether they serve as some sort of practice field for our relationships with each other.

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