An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies
Considering that much of human society is structured through its interaction with non-human animals, and since human society relies heavily on the exploitation of animals to serve human needs, human-animal studies has become a rapidly expanding field of research, featuring a number of distinct positions, perspectives, and theories that require nuanced explanation and contextualization.
The first book to provide a full overview of human-animal studies, this volume focuses on the conceptual construction of animals in American culture and the way in which it reinforces and perpetuates hierarchical human relationships rooted in racism, sexism, and class privilege. Margo DeMello considers interactions between humans and animals within the family, the law, the religious and political system, and other major social institutions, and she unpacks the different identities humans fashion for themselves and for others through animals. Essays also cover speciesism and evolutionary continuities; the role and preservation of animals in the wild; the debate over zoos and the use of animals in sports; domestication; agricultural practices such as factory farming; vivisection; animal cruelty; animal activism; the representation of animals in literature and film; and animal ethics. Sidebars highlight contemporary controversies and issues, with recommendations for additional reading, educational films, and related websites. DeMello concludes with an analysis of major philosophical positions on human social policy and the future of human-animal relations.
As one of the founders of this field and someone who has helped guide its development, DeMello is uniquely situated to write this book. She does an admirable job detailing the history of human-animal studies, its intricate relations to other fields, and its multi/interdisciplinarity. The right book at the right time.
Claire Jean Kim, University of California, Irvine
A 'must' book to own and read. Each chapter is filled with insights extending our understanding of the role and meaning of non-human animals in the modern age. Animals and Society is an essential addition to our bookshelves, required readings, citations lists, and textbook adoptions.
Arnold Arluke, Northeastern University
The first published text in human-animal studies, this volume undoubtedly sets the standard. Comprehensive in scope, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in approach, painstakingly researched and wonderfully written, it should be the choice for human-animal studies courses in a variety of disciplines. A most impressive accomplishment.
Clifton P. Flynn, University of South Carolina Upstate
A valuable resource.... Recommended.
Animals and Society is a substantial encyclopedic resource for understanding the nature of our interactions involving animals.
D. Wayne Dworsky
DeMello's book surpasses the typical textbook in offering a well-written overview of the field, with historical and cultural coverage of the changing categorizations of animals, the social construction of animals, the various human use of animals, attitudes toward animals, and symbolic manifestations of animals.
A well-considered and artfully structured work that provokes thoughtful reflection and stimulates ideas for both theoretical and applied study; it is a worthwhile addition to my library.
PART I: CONSTRUCTING ANIMALS: ANIMAL CATEGORIES
1. Human-Animal Studies
What Is Human-Animal Studies?
History of HAS
Human-Animal Studies as a Way of Seeing
Where Are Animals?
Defining the Animal
Understanding Animals and Their Uses
Theoretical Starting Points
Real-World Implications of Human-Animal Studies
Coming to Animal Studies
2. Animal-Human Borders
Animals and Humans: The Great Divide?
Speciesism and the Rise of the Human-Animal Border
Evolution and the Continuity Between the Species
3. The Social Construction of Animals
Biological Systems of Classification
Other Systems of Classification
How Does One Become a Type of Animal?
The Sociozoologic Scale
A New System of Classification
The Joy of Chickens
PART II: USING ANIMALS: HUMAN-ANIMAL ECONOMIES
4. Animals "in the Wild" and in Human Societies
Animals and Humans in the Paleolithic Era
Subsistence Hunting and the Human-Animal Relationship
From Subsistence to Sport
Colonial Expansion and Animals
Controversies Surrounding Subsistence Hunting
Modern Relationships with Wildlife: Hunting and Conservation
The Colonial Animal
5. The Domestication of Animals
History of Domestication
Results of Domestication
Altering the Animal Body
Is Domestication Good or Bad?
Coming to Animals
Why Do We Watch Animals?
Marine Mammal Parks
The Public Reaction to Zoos and Marine Mammal Parks
Alternative Ways of Watching Animals
Working from Within: An Ethnographer in Human-Animal Worlds
7. The Making and Consumption of Meat
How Animals Become Meat
Meat Consumption in the Past
Modern Meat Production
Why We Eat Meat: The Political Economy of Agribusiness
Cultural Implications of Modern Meat Production and Consumption
Ethics and Meat Eating
8. The Pet Animal
What Makes a Pet a Pet?
The Rise of Pet Keeping
The Development of the Modern Pet Industry
Why We Keep Pets
The Human-Pet Relationship
Love and Grief
Development of Humane Attitudes Through Pets
Contradictory Attitudes Toward Pets
Pets and Domination
9. Animals and Science
The History of Vivisection
The Scope of Animal Research and Testing
Animals as Stand-Ins for Humans
The Social Construction of the Lab Animal
The History of the Anti-Vivisection Movement
Alternatives to Animal Research and Testing
The Battle over Animal Research Today
10. Animal-Assisted Activities
Animals as Human Assistants
Working Animals Today
The Human-Animal Bond: Benefits to Humans
What About Benefits to Animals?
The Healing Gifts of Animals: Animal Assisted Therapy
PART III: ATTITUDES TOWARD ANIMALS
11. Working with Animals
People Who Work with Animals
Animal Rescue Volunteers
Shelter Workers and Veterinarians
Working with People Who Work with Animals
12. Violence to Animals
Institutionalized Violence to Animals
The Link Between Violence to Animals and Violence to Humans
Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse
Treatment and Prevention
AniCare: Treating Animal Abuse
13. Human Oppression and Animal Suffering
Interlinked Systems of Exploitation
The Roots of Oppression
Othering and Essentializing
Sexism and Speciesism
Racism, Slavery, the Holocaust, and Animal Exploitation
What's the Problem with Comparisons?
Racism and Animal Advocacy
Capitalism and the Expansion of Oppression
Connecting the Dots: Legitimating Oppressions
PART IV: IMAGINING ANIMALS: ANIMALS AS SYMBOL
14. Animals in Human Thought
The Use of Animals in Human Language
Animals as Symbols
Animals in Artwork
Mirrors for Human Identities
Animals and the Creative Arts
15. Animals in Religion and Folklore
Animals in Religious Thought
Communities of Faith and the Ethical Treatment of Animals
What Do Animals and Religion Have to Do with Each Other? by Laura Hobgood-Oster
16. Animals in Literature and Film
Animals in Literature
Animals in Children's Literature
Animals in Film and TV
The Internet Is Made of Cats
Literary Animal Encounters
PART V: KNOWING AND RELATING TO ANIMALS: ANIMAL BEHAVIOR AND ANIMAL ETHICS
17. Animal Behavior Studies and Ethology
History of Animal Behavior Studies
Animal Behavior Studies and Reductionism
The Rise of Modern Ethology
The Animal Self
Doing and Saying in Play Between Dogs and People
18. The Moral Status of Animals
History of Philosophical Debates on Animals
Ethical Humanism and the Rights of Animals
Peter Singer and Utilitarianism
Tom Regan and Animal Rights
The Morality of Awareness
19. The Animal Protection Movement
The Movement's Precursors
The Animal Rights Movement: The First Wave
The Animal Rights Movement: The Second Wave
The Modern Animal Rights Movement
Demographics: Who Becomes an Animal Rights Activist?
Place of the Movement in Contemporary Society
20. The Future of the Human-Animal Relationship