Luke Niebler

"I" of the Tiger.

Luke Niebler

Q: Why are tigers endangered?

A: Tigers are endangered because of humanity’s tendency towards colonization and domination, particularly when operating within false binary oppositions. Within a binary opposition, the unformed material world suddenly divides into “civilized” and “wild.” Once that is the case, a logic begins to set in, the wild becomes associated with danger, and thus must be folded into civilization. This is further accelerated by the hungry maw of capitalism, which codes “wild” as (re)source.

However, we must always look to untie the snares of language. Can a tiger truly be said to be “endangered”? And if so, what could endanger the tiger? In order to be endangered, one would have to have be a Subject, able to perceive and interact with the world. Since I do not identify as a tiger, I cannot say whether or not tigers have a sense of subjectivity. However, many humans have decided to speak “for” tigers, either by imposing the “endangered” identifier on them or literally putting words in their mouth.

Perhaps this is the greatest threat to tigers: they have lost any possibility of subjectivity as humans have transformed them into mere puppets, strange reflections of our own savagery and desires.

Do not speak for tigers, speak with them.