Animal welfare laws for hens in petting zoos are more comprehensive than laws for broiler hens raised for meat. Seem strange? In Animals, Equality and Democracy Siobhan O'Sullivan exposes inconsistencies in animal protection laws that favour the most popular, best known nonhuman animals. She also shows that protections vary depending on how we want to make use of a particular animal, with the most visible animals receiving the strongest level of protection. She argues that contemporary animal welfare laws make the lives of animals akin to a lottery. O'Sullivan calls this the 'internal inconsistency' and argues that animal protection inequalities offend fundamental liberal democratic values. She argues that this is a justice issue and proposes that both human-animal studies scholars, and animal advocates, turn their attention to the internal inconsistency as a pressing matter of social justice.
This book looks at animal protection problems from the perspective of political studies. This is a unique approach with very few political scientists engaging with contemporary animal protection issues.
"In Animals, Equality, and Democracy, Siobhan O'Sullivan appeals to democratic values to argue that the way we treat many animals is unjustifiable, even when judged by the standards that citizens of most democracies already accept. This is an engagingly fresh approach to the issue of animal equality, and I hope it will be widely discussed."
- Peter Singer, Princeton University, USA
"In Animals, Equality, and Democracy, Siobhan O'Sullivan has provided a brave new perspective on the inequalities of our treatment of animals, not the conventional view of how they fare worse than humans, but a thoughtful consideration of why some animals are treated better than others. This approach will challenge us to look after all animals better, not just the ones we derive most benefit from."
- Clive Phillips, Professor of Animal Welfare, University of Queensland, Australia
Series Editors' Foreword
Preface by Prof. Robert Garner, University of Leicester, UK
- Introduction: Where are all the Animals?
- Animal Citizens
- The Political Lives of Animals
- Animal Invisibility
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind
- Applying the Justice Principle to Animal Citizens
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Siobhan O'Sullivan is Research Fellow at the School of Social and Political Sciences, Melbourne University, Australia. She has a long-standing interest in animal protection and published widely on animal issues, including articles in Environmental Politics, Environmental Values and the Journal of Animal Ethics. Siobhan is an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.