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Loving Animals

Toward a New Animal Advocacy

Kathy Rudy

Publication Year: 2011

The contemporary animal rights movement encompasses a wide range of sometimes-competing agendas from vegetarianism to animal liberation. For people for whom pets are family members—animal lovers outside the fray—extremist positions in which all human–animal interaction is suspect often discourage involvement in the movement to end cruelty to other beings. In Loving Animals, Kathy Rudy argues that in order to achieve such goals as ending animal testing and factory farming, activists need to be better attuned to the profound emotional, even spiritual, attachment that many people have with the animals in their lives.

Offering an alternative to both the acceptance of animal exploitation and radical animal liberation, Rudy shows that a deeper understanding of the nature of our feelings for and about animals can redefine the human–animal relationship in a positive way. Through extended interviews with people whose lives are intertwined with animals, analysis of the cultural representation of animals, and engaging personal accounts, she explores five realms in which humans use animals: as pets, for food, in entertainment, in scientific research, and for clothing. In each case she presents new methods of animal advocacy to reach a more balanced and sustainable relationship association built on reciprocity and connection.

Using this intense emotional bond as her foundation, Rudy suggests that the nearly universal stories we tell of living with and loving animals will both broaden the support for animal advocacy and inspire the societal changes that will improve the lives of animals—and humans—everywhere.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press


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pp. 1-7


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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: A Change of Heart

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pp. ix-xxii

The world of “animal rights” in the first part of the twenty-first century is busy, perplexing, and extremely uneven. Sometimes, people who call themselves animal rights activists simply mean they don’t eat meat or wear leather; sometimes they eat fish, cheese, or eggs, and sometimes they don’t. ...

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One. What’s Behind Animal Advocacy?

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pp. 1-28

It’s important to understand the abstract ethical theories that underpin any social movement because those theories form a foundation for the various directions a movement takes. The easiest way to see this is in retrospect with other social movements, movements that are perhaps more self-reflective about their foundations than animal rights is today. ...

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Two. The Love of a Dog: Of Pets and Puppy Mills, Mixed Breeds and Shelters

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pp. 29-72

Perhaps the most heartbreaking arena of animal exploitation is the way we treat unwanted pets. Puppy mill dogs born and raised in conditions of unspeakable filth, unwanted dogs and cats at a pound killed in makeshift gas chambers and stacked like cordwood, strays on the street used as target practice, ...

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Three. The Animal On Your Plate: Farmers, Vegans, and Locavores

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pp. 73-110

If the world of pets is perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of the way we treat animals, the world of meat, eggs, and dairy products is without question the largest and most horrifying. The vast majority of our animal products come from “factory farms” or CAFOs (confined or concentrated animal feeding operations): ...

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Four. Where The Wild Things Ought to Be: Sanctuaries, Zoos, and Exotic Pets

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pp. 111-152

Throughout this book, I have argued that animal advocacy can and should be expanded to embrace affective realms. In some ways, as I’ve suggested, practices are already emerging today that can be seen as examples or illustrations of this new orientation. ...

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Five. From Object to Subject: Animals in Scientific Research

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pp. 153-186

Nowhere is the debate about human use of animals more incoherent than in the domain of invasive somatic research on animals, also known as vivisection. Scientific researchers and their advocates claim that using live animals in experiments is absolutely necessary to the advancement of science, ...

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Six. Clothing Ourselves in Stories of Love: Affect and Animal Advocacy

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pp. 187-204

The fifth and final way we humans use animals to enhance our lives is through clothing. Debates rage between abolitionists, utilitarians, and welfarists on questions of fur, leather, and wool; animal products are also used in the production of lotions, perfumes, and hair-care products. ...

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Conclusion: Trouble In The Pack

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pp. 205-216

I’ve told lots of stories in this book because I believe affective connection is the basis for mass change, and because those connections are often best displayed through narratives. Just as I was finishing this book, an event at my house drove home the critical importance of “being with” animals in a way that is based on affect. ...

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pp. 217-218

For unwavering support of my animal fanaticism, I thank the following humans: Anne Allison, Nancy Barrickman, Marc Bekoff, Val Bletner, Kendra Boileau, Jackie Boyden, Jenny Campbell, Jane Caputi, Katie and Greg Christo, Judi Clark, Elizabeth Clift, Margo DeMello, Marc Fellenz, Marilyn Forbes, ...


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pp. 219-232


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pp. 233-246


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pp. 247-260

E-ISBN-13: 9780816678808
E-ISBN-10: 0816678804
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816674688

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2011