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In Celebration of Themester: Animal/Human

Frogs. Digital Image. IU Themester

Each fall the College of Arts and Sciences hosts a Themester: a year-long program that is meant to engage students and faculty in an overarching topic by integrating the specific topic into curriculum and events around the community. In the past, Themesters have covered topics ranging from sustainability to diversity. This year’s Themester is Animal/Human, and it aims to explore the multi-faceted relationships and interactions between humans and animals by looking back at history and engaging audiences on related issues such as protecting biodiversity, exploring animals in the food industry, and figuring out    what exactly makes dogs so special. We treat some animals like members of our own families while we consider others to be the bane of our existences, and this Themester is going to explore the full range! Whether you were already aware of Themester or this is the first you’re hearing about it, Media Services invites you to participate in this year’s Themester by picking some films that are guaranteed to put you in the mood to embrace learning all about the complexity of our relationship with animals!

Farmer and Pig. Digital image. Two Bears Farm. 3/17/10.


In celebration of this year’s Themester, I have chosen to highlight Babe. For me, it is one of those movies that automatically takes me back in time to the exact setting in which I watched the film. I thought it would be an appropriate film to mention because it exemplifies the connection between animals and humans.

Babe follows the journey of a clever little pig and his relationship not only with his environment, but also the farmer with whom he forms a close bond with. After its release, activists used this opportunity to bring attention to the plight of animals in the food industry. Some statistics show that the film might have led to the drop in the sale of pork and the increase in the number of vegetarians. But you don’t have to take my word for it: The “Babe” Vegetarians.

Babe’s impact goes farther than stirring a sense of nostalgia in some, but it started serious conversations about the treatment of animals in the food industry and raises some moral arguments for vegetarianism.

This film is one of many that highlights the interaction between humans and animals. If you’re interested in learning more about this year’s Themester, you are more than welcome to attend the free events that will further explore various themes related to the Themester. Also, feel free to stop by Media Services and pick up a copy of Babe or other films that are related to this year’s Themester. RE

Hachi poster. Digital image. Amazon.

King Kong poster. Digital image. Fanart.

The Black Stallion poster. Digital image.

Blackfish. Digital image. Wikipedia.

Robiati Endashaw is a junior and is studying public policy analysis in KSB with a minor in Economics. In her spare time, she enjoys reading non-fiction and watching crime documentaries.

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