Toward a New Animal Advocacy
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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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored ina retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written1. Animal welfare. 2. Animal welfare—Moral and ethical aspects. The University of Minnesota is an equal-opportunity educator and employer....
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INTRODUCTION: A CHANGE OF HEART
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THE WORLD OF “ANIMAL RIGHTS” IN THE FIRST PARTof the twenty-first century is busy, perplexing, and extremely un -even. Sometimes, people who call themselves animal rights activists sim-ply mean they don’t eat meat or wear leather; sometimes they eat fish,cheese, or eggs, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, these activ istsbreak into scientific research labs and steal animals used in experiments....
ONE: WHAT’S BEHIND ANIMAL ADVOCACY?
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IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE ABSTRACT ETHI-cal theories that underpin any social movement because those theo-ries form a foundation for the various directions a movement takes. Theeasiest way to see this is in retrospect with other social movements, move-ments that are perhaps more self-reflective about their foundations thananimal rights is today. The women’s movement, for example, spent many...
TWO: THE LOVE OF A DOG: Of Pets and Puppy Mills, Mixed Breeds and Shelters
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PERHAPS THE MOST HEARTBREAKING ARENA OF ANI-mal exploitation is the way we treat unwanted pets. Puppy mill dogsborn and raised in conditions of unspeakable filth, unwanted dogs andcats at a pound killed in makeshift gas chambers and stacked like cord-wood, strays on the street used as target practice, captured pets—deadand alive—loaded into dumpsters to be crushed, faithful pets abandoned...
THREE: THE ANIMAL ON YOUR PLATE: Farmers, Vegans, and Locavores
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IF THE WORLD OF PETS IS PERHAPS THE MOST HEART-breaking 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” orCAFOs (confined or concentrated animal feeding operations): these in -dustrial operations house our food animals in automated cages, tin sheds,...
FOUR: WHERE THE WILD THINGS OUGHT TO BE: Sanctuaries, Zoos, and Exotic Pets
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THROUGHOUT THIS BOOK, I HAVE ARGUED THAT ANI-mal advocacy can and should be expanded to embrace aﬀectiverealms. In some ways, as I’ve suggested, practices are already emergingtoday that can be seen as examples or illustrations of this new orienta-tion. These include the recent rise in money and time spent with com-panion animals, as well as the movement to return animals to free-range...
FIVE: FROM OBJECT TO SUBJECT: Animals in Scientific Research
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NOWHERE IS THE DEBATE ABOUT HUMAN USE OF ANI-mals more incoherent than in the domain of invasive somatic re -search on animals, also known as vivisection. Scientific researchers andtheir advocates claim that using live animals in experiments is absolutelynecessary to the advancement of science, that without animals, we wouldnot have developed vaccines, antibiotics, and almost all the drugs and...
SIX: CLOTHING OURSELVES IN STORIES OF LOVE: Affect and Animal Advocacy
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THE FIFTH AND FINAL WAY WE HUMANS USE ANIMALSto enhance our lives is through clothing. Debates rage between abo-litionists, 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. For the most part, positions taken up by variousstakeholders mirror the arguments made elsewhere about the human use...
CONCLUSION: TROUBLE IN THE PACK
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I’VE TOLD LOTS OF STORIES IN THIS BOOK BECAUSE I believe aﬀective connection is the basis for mass change, and becausethose connections are often best displayed through narratives. Just as Iwas finishing this book, an event at my house drove home the criticalimportance of “being with” animals in a way that is based on aﬀect. Solet me end this book with one more true and heartfelt story. It illustrates...
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Books that take a decade or longer to gestate and be born accrue a lot ofdebts. Here is my chance to acknowledge the people who helped makeFor unwavering support of my animal fanaticism, I thank the fol-lowing humans: Anne Allison, Nancy Barrickman, Marc Bekoﬀ, ValBletner, Kendra Boileau, Jackie Boyden, Jenny Campbell, Jane Caputi,...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2011