Panel aims to analyze through a variety of views our perception of the animal as a cultural heritage and animal in cultural heritage, whether the animal is only an object of this heritage or has the time for it to become a free entity, not a possession of any national human community.
Panel will introduce different perspectives on the animal in cultural heritage of the different national traditions, based on the ethnological, zoo-folkloristic and philosophical insights. It will reflect upon the difference between human and animal, examine ethical and ontological status of the animal and discuss how to overcome the distinction on the basis of new findings and political practices. At the same time, the critical discourse about this knowledge should be considered (Francioni, Best), which on the one hand through tradition communicates an extraordinary message of coexistence between humans and animals, whereas on the other hand uncovers some relationships and practices that are in our present time no longer acceptable. Regardless of knowing that every animal, besides being part of nature, is also a part of culture (Sax, Willis, Serpell) through which humans build their own cultural patterns, our attitude towards animals (also through folklore and literature) is still distinctly hierarchical (Zapf). The panel will attempt to look for solutions beyond such marginalization. Panel aims to analyze through a variety of views our perception of the animal as a natural and cultural heritage, whether the animal is only an object of this heritage, necessary to be preserved, or has the time for it to become a free entity, not a possession of any national human community. Its existence has been and is still today totally dependent on the human, only a few species have completely eluded human influence. Is it therefore the freedom of animals only utopia?