Following Eileen Crist, Dodd suggests that paying attention to historical naturalists' descriptions of animals and animal behaviour presents 'opportunities to investigate how notions of subjectivity and objectivity have historically formed around the observation and description of animals' (154) Adopting an excessively objective or 'mechanomorphic' perspective on animal behaviour, he suggests, 'will inevitably lead to a deficient, condescending vision of the animal being observed and described.' (154)

Dodd goes on to present L.M. Budgen's Episodes of Insect Life as an example of a anthropomorphic approach to the portrayal of animal life that contrasts with such mechanomorphism. This, Dodd suggests, offers an example 'not merely... of "how people assign meaning to the world," but also of "how people receive meaning from their world."' (155) He presents a close reading of Budgen's text that emphasises the way in which it 'operates outside the spectrum of objectivity as generally understood, yet... does not abandon the pursuit of truth.' (174) Budgen's text, Dodd suggests, offers 'a portal to an elaborate, wondrous view of living nature - a nature with a voice.' (174)