Sacrificial Pigs, Sexy Chickens and Scary Shipworms: Animals of the Low Countries
What do black chickens have to do with witchcraft? Why were pigs not allowed to walk the streets freely in the Middle Ages? And should we welcome the return of the wolf or not? You'll hear the answers in this podcast on the history of animals in the Low Countries.
We have long imposed our personal whims on other animals. We use them for labour or sport. We give them symbolic meaning, assigning them divine significance and power. Or we groom them and breed them to eat.
For thousands of years, our relationship with animals has been an integral part of how we and our world have evolved. In the Low Countries, this is a journey from the ancient times of hunter-fisher communities to the early days of animal husbandry, through centuries of urbanisation, warfare, massive floods and land reclamation. All have had a drastic impact on animal life in the region.
In this podcast, we discuss some animals that roamed or still roam in the Low Countries. We will see how the relationship between humans and animals has helped shape local societies and cultures, and how, over the millennia, we have exterminated some animals and invited others into our homes, but also unintentionally had some as very unwelcome guests.
Starring in this podcast: reindeer, cows, chickens, pigs, shipworms, badgers, beavers and wolves.