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Notes to Postscript on Race, Ethnicity, Species, and Breed Totemism

Acknowledgments: My many thanks to Christophe Robert for criticisms and research assistance, especially on French breeding, about which I could not have written without his knowledge and insight.

1. In an excellent article on comparative sociology, Phil McMichael (1992: 359) sketches two methodological requirements that correspond to my approach: "first, ensuring that the units of analysis are historical, and therefore fluid, concepts; and second, employing an emergent, rather than an a priori whole, to establish historical context . . . The diachronic form involves comparison across multiple instances of a single historical process." See Phil McMichael, "Rethinking Comparative Analysis in a Post-developmentalist Context," International Social Science Journal 133, 3 (1992): 351-65.

2. Hence informed French travelers find the Coit Tower in San Francisco extremely amusing.

3. Killing valuable performance horses for insurance premiums is perhaps even more widespread in the United States. A federal investigation of the killing of fifteen horses in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to several convictions, the most famous being of the George Lindemann for killing his Olympic mount, "Charisma," to collect a $250,000 insurance premium. Lindemann was convicted, along with three others, for a federal conspiracy to defraud the insurance company, using interstate telephone calls (thus the charge of "wire fraud") to electrocute Charisma on the evening of 15 December 1990 (cf. U.S. v. George Lindemann, Jr. U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, No. 96-1188, decided 4 June 1996).

4. The English language term "animal husbandry" suggests a similar relationship to animal breeding, that the human functions not as wife, uncle, aunt, or father, but as a male, married caretaker.

5. Marshall Sahlins, Culture and Practical Reason (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976). In some other parts of the horse world, other logics, such as a logic of care or friendship, do in fact trump market logic. One salient example: For the last several decades, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management offers a Wild Horse Adoption Program as a means to control overpopulation of wild horses in federal lands without killing them. Such horses can be domesticated, but they are rarely profitable in any sense of the word. Most frequently, they are difficult to train and, not being bred selectively for riding, they do not make particularly good mounts. Most of the adoptive parents only take them by identifying through projecting qualities onto them (such as wildness and freedom), or simply out of the joy of caring, and they in fact have to sacrifice a great deal of time, money, and even status.

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