Connecting Humans and Non-Humans
Pathways Volume 4 Cover: photo depicts stone path with gate


Public Health
One Health
Cultural construction

How to Cite

LaBrie, K. (2023). Connecting Humans and Non-Humans: A Novel Approach to Disease Management. Pathways, 4(1), 45–55.


A recent trend in public health campaigns has been to include non-human health data to capture all relevant variables related to human well-being. This specific approach is the foundation of the World Health Organization restructuring in the early 2000s as they adopted the “one health” framework. Politically, this movement is influential and draws significant health funding globally. "One health" is characterized by a multi-disciplinary collaboration between medical, veterinary, and health sciences. Similarly, the post-human turn in medical anthropology recognizes that viewing the non-human contributions to the cultural construction of health as symbolic does not adequately address how non-humans and nature independently contribute to human health realities. Ethnographic studies of the non-human perspective shed light on how humans are not the only beings that influence culturally constructed reality, nor are they exclusively in control of cultural phenomena. Theoretical trends in anthropology and public health seemingly converge; however, an artificial academic barrier between the sciences and social sciences remains. As these two disciplines are coming closer together through their data, breaking down structural barriers that prevent the successful integration of knowledge has potential to improve human health outcomes. Methodological concessions will have to occur on all sides to make the inclusion of the social sciences in public health possible. Doing so can bring academia closer to a comprehensive scientific understanding of human health.


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Copyright (c) 2023 Katie LaBrie