Prof. Shahar Meir is a historian of Chinese religion. He intends to focus upon the representations, roles, and attitudes towards animals in the Chinese religious tradition. Meir intends to pay special attention to the tutelary deities of draft animals, such as the Horse King (which protects horses, donkeys, and mules), the Ox King (which protects oxen and water buffaloes), and the Silkworm Goddess (which protects silkworms). These deities are widely worshiped by people whose livelihood depends upon their beastly protégés. Furthermore, human and animal tutelary deities are often worshiped side by side, indicating an existential affinity between draft animals and their human masters. Human and non-human animals are equally vulnerable and similarly in need of divine protection.
Read more about Prof. Shahar here.