© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/156853008X357649 Th e Gilgamesh Complex: Th e Quest for Death Transcendence and the Killing of Animals Jared Christman Independent Scholar (formerly of New Jersey City University), L4C Pinetree Boulevard; Old Bridge, NJ 08857, USA E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent 6 January 2008, Accepted 4 March 2008 Abstract Because the fauna of the world possess a blood-driven vitality so comparable to that of people, they serve as an unwitting resource in the anthropocentric quest to ward oﬀ the ravages of death and decay, to create a cornucopia of human life amid the caprices of the cosmos. Fueled by the human fear of the grave, the “Gilgamesh complex” is the ensemble of beliefs and desires underlying a spectrum of zoocidal practices ranging from religious immolation to scientiﬁ c experimentation. Th e name of the complex draws its textual inspiration from the Babylonian epic of the warrior-king Gilgamesh, who lays waste to beasts of forest and ﬁ eld in his quest for immortality. From a psychological perspective, the epic of Gilgamesh pierces the veil of sub- merged desires and muddled behaviors that most people in modern society are loath to recog- nize. Th e Gilgamesh complex
Society & Animals – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: DEATH DENIAL; ANIMAL VITALITY; BLOOD RITES; ZOOCIDE
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