The CASJ’s groundbreaking research features prominently in a pioneering new collection of essays called ‘The Political Turn in Animal Ethics’, edited by Rob Garner and Siobhan O’Sullivan, and published by Rowman and Littlefield International. Forty to fifty years ago, academic animal ethicists sparked a revolution in social attitudes towards other animals. But this hasn’t translated into real-world improvements for animals. This new book addresses this critical failure from a number of angles.
The CASJ’s work features in chapters by Dan Lyons, Lucy Parry and Rob Garner. Prof Garner’s chapter, entitled ‘Animals, Politics and Democracy’, examines the rightful place of nonhuman animals in democracies. Animal interests must be represented within democratic decision-making processes if their status as morally-considerable sentient beings is to be respected, concludes Garner.
Lucy Parry is a CASJ-funded postgraduate researcher at the University of Sheffield who contributes a chapter entitled ‘Deliberative democracy and animals – not such strange bedfellows’. Parry suggests that more deliberative forms of democracy – where decisions are taken though balanced, informed and respectful debate – would enhance the prospects for animal protection.
Lyons’ chapter analyses animal protection policy in the UK, demonstrating how the myth of the UK’s world-leading animal welfare standards has been deployed to obstruct actual protection for animals. Both Lyons’ and Peter Chen’s chapter on the Australian situation expose the democratic deficit surrounding animal politics, thereby underpinning the need for the type of political reforms suggested by Garner and Parry. Lyons himself recommends concrete reforms to represent animal interests within government systems, including a dedicated animal protection body and the inclusion of animal welfare in policy impact assessments.
The book contains eleven chapters in all that provide a comprehensive platform for a new era in animal protection, including CASJ associates Alasdair Cochrane (Sheffield) and Siobhan O’Sullivan (New South Wales) who examine ‘Labour Rights for Animals’ and ‘Animals and the Politics of Equity’ respectively. Meanwhile, Steve Cooke (Leicester) examines the legitimacy of animal liberation activities in the context of unjust and tyrannical governmental approaches to nonhuman animals.
You can order The Political Turn in Animal Ethics from here.