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This paper characterizes the portrayal of animals and human-animal relations in one genre of American popular culture—the “supermarket” tabloid press. A total of 789 animal-related stories and photographs in 82 issues of four tabloid magazines were analyzed according to theme. The items fell into nine categories in which animals were portrayed as objects of affection, saviors, threats, victims, things to be used, sex objects, imaginary and mythological beings, surrogate humans, and objects of wonder. It is argued that these themes represent archetypes reflecting the roles that animals have had in human cultural and psychological life since the historical origins of our species.


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