Animal Property Rights: A Theory of Habitat Rights for Wild Animals represents the first attempt to extend liberal property rights theory across the species barrier to animals. It broadens the traditional focus of animal rights beyond basic rights to life and bodily integrity to rights to the natural areas in which animal reside. John Hadley argues that both proponents of animal rights and environmentalists ought to support animal property rights because protecting habitat promotes ecological values and helps to ensure animals live free from human interference.
Hadley's focus is pragmatist – he locates animal property rights within the institution of property as it exists today in liberal democracies. He argues that attempts to justify animal property rights on labour and first occupancy grounds will likely fail; instead, he grounds animal property rights upon the importance of habitat for the satisfaction of animals' basic needs.
The potential of animal property rights as a way of reinvigorating existing public policy responses to the problem of biodiversity loss due to habitat destruction is thoroughly explored. Using the concept of guardianship for cognitively impaired human beings, Hadley translates habitat rights as a right to negotiate – human guardians ought to be allowed to negotiate, on behalf of wild animals, with human landholders whose development activities put animals at risk.
In addition to a theory of animal property rights, Animal Property Rights affords a critique of Donaldson and Kymlicka's wild animal sovereignty theory, a defence of indirect approaches to animal rights, an extensive discussion of euthanasia as a 'therapeutic hunting' tool, and the first discussion of Locke's theory of original acquisition in animal rights literature.
1. Animals Owning Things?
2. The Mechanics of Animal Property Rights
3. Justification of Animal Property Rights, Part 1: Labor and First Occupancy
4. Justification of Animal Property Rights, Part 2: Basic Needs
5. Environmentalism versus Animal Rights
6. Practice and Pragmatism
7. Recapitulation of the Main Elements and Implications
John Hadley is lecturer of philosophy at the University of Western Sydney.
"John Hadley's Animal Property Rights is a book that does precisely what its title promises, which is to provide a framework for granting wild animals property rights to their habitats.Well-written and provocative, it invites away of thinking about the moral and legal status of wild animals and their territories that is at once both innovative and conceptually familiar. Readers surely will not be disappointed with Hadley's presentation of his case [...] Animal Property Rights is a without question a valuable book. Although it is theoretically most at home in philosophical and animal studies circles, it is relevant for researchers and educators working in many environmentally-related areas, as well as activists and policymakers looking to advance animal rights and to conserve wildlife. Even if readers do not find themselves entirely persuaded by Hadley's argument, they will undoubtedly be impressed by his statement of it."
– Biological Conservation
"Though grounded in philosophical theory, Hadley's focus is pragmatic [...] This is a book of critical relevance to those interested in issues of human-wildlife conflict, biodiversity protection, and human/nonhuman relationships."
– New Books Network
"Hadley's pragmatic focus is quite refreshing. Philosophical minutiae are avoided and the position is presented in a positive light from a variety of perspectives [...] As an idea, animal property rights are new, important and exciting; the theory warrants attention. As a book, Animal Property Rights is engaging and readable. Hadley's prose is clear and concise, his ideas comprehensible and realistic."
– Res Publica: A Journal of Moral, Legal and Social Philosophy
"Animal Property Rights is at once an intriguing theory and a well-written book. John Hadley anticipates his critics masterfully and gives scholars, animal advocates, environmentalists, and legal practitioners much to think about. If Animal Property Rights does not make you question your assumptions about human/nonhuman relations, nothing will."
– Siobhan O'Sullivan, Lecturer in Social Policy, University of New South Wales
"Animal Property Rights: A Theory of Habitat Rights for Wild Animals presents a novel theory about one of the most important topics in contemporary animal ethics, that of our obligations towards nonhuman animals living in the wild. Whether or not we agree with the view it defends, it raises important questions and shows why animal ethicists should pay more attention to this so far unaddressed topic."
– Oscar Horta, University of Santiago de Compostela
"Hadley's theory of animal property rights provides a refreshing and ingenious contribution both to animal ethics and to conservation policy. It deserves to be taken seriously by students, academics, campaigners and policymakers."
– Alasdair Cochrane, University of Sheffield