In its special issue Wild Pet National Geographic described some concrete reasons to have it : reconnecting with nature, status symbol (luxury), possessing an animal not domesticated, taking the uncivilised into society. But all this stuff conveys what Lacan called gadget.
For Lacan, a gadget is a fundamental dispossession of the intrinsic content of reality. Gadgets substitute life because they turn reality into an object ready to use. So, a wild pet is an animal no longer wild that is an animal dispossessed of its biological reality. But life, as Lacan explains, is not a land to seize; it’s a geography to face with. And geography implies both living creatures and unpredictable pathways. In hyper modern societies we seek gadgets just the same we seek special pets. Let’s come back to the photos of binturongs provided by Greg McCann.
What is a binturong roaming in a forest?
This binturong is the main character of a landscape. Of course we can also picture this landscape by words like habitat and ecosystem. What counts here it’s that a species is not a gadget but a vibrant presence. While gadgets destroy landscapes by reducing them to commodities or facilities, a wild species remind us that landscape are the geography of life and imagination.