Why do we get a kick out of looking at animals? We’re asserting our dominion over nature – but also trying to understand and preserve it
We humans love to look at other species. The BBC series Planet Earth II is a huge hit. As well as the authority of David Attenborough’s voice, this is because it offers a series of incredible HD glimpses of the secret lives of animals. The latest sequence that had my family glued to the screen featured a pride of lions chasing a giraffe. Astounding.
Or is it? Is watching nature documentaries an enlightened attempt to comprehend our fellow creatures, or just another example of human beings imposing a gaze of power and knowledge on animals – classifying, controlling and ultimately skinning and stuffing them in the name of science?