Edited by Hein-Anton van der Heijden
Chapter 22: The animal rights movement
Despite the long history of animal protection groups and their concern for non-human animals (hereafter simply ‘animals’), it is only in the last half-century or so that one can speak of a stratified movement for animal protection consisting of welfarists, liberationists and rightists. Philosophical concerns about animal cruelty predate the contemporary animal rights movement (hereafter the ‘animal movement’) by several centuries. Compared to the contributions of philosophers from Plato in 400 BC to Singer in 1975, social scientists until very recently have had little interest in or impact on the animal cause. For example, in the emerging field of human-animal studies (HAS), animal issues have largely been confined to a few specialist journals and more recently to edited anthologies of previously published articles (e.g., Wilkie and Inglis, 2007; Flynn, 2008; Arluke and Sanders, 2009). In Wilkie and Inglis, a collection in five volumes of 90 previously published papers, the disciplines of anthropology, geography, sociology, psychology and feminist studies are the main ones represented. However, there are no articles on the politics, ethics and sociology of the animal rights movement and virtually no mention of animal cruelty. Only in the Arluke and Sanders collection is the sociology of the animal movement referred to and then only in four papers from a total of 35 while in Flynn’s edited volume of 31 chapters only one paper focuses specifically on the animal movement.
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