Though not often acknowledged openly, killing represents by far the most common form of human interaction with animals. Humans kill animals for food, for pleasure, to wear, and even as religious acts, yet despite the ubiquity of this killing, analyzing the practice has generally remained the exclusive purview of animal rights advocates.
Killing Animals offers a corrective to this narrow focus by bringing together the insights of scholars from diverse backgrounds in the humanities, including art history, anthropology, intellectual history, philosophy, literary studies, and geography. These essays, conceived as parts of a larger whole from their inception, together reveal the complexity of the killing phenomenon by exploring the extraordinary diversity in killing practices and the wide variety of meanings attached to them. They examine aspects of the role of animals in human societies, from the seventeenth century to the present day: their cultural manifestations, and how they have been represented. Topics include hunting and baiting; slaughter practices and the treatment of feral and stray animals; animal death in art, literature and philosophy; and even animals that themselves become killers of humans.
THE ANIMAL STUDIES GROUP consists of the following British scholars: Steve Baker (art history, University of Central Lancashire), Jonathan Burt (independent scholar), Diana Donald (art history, Manchester Metropolitan University), Erica Fudge (history, Middlesex University), Garry Marvin (anthropology, University of Surrey Roehampton), Robert McKay (literature, Sheffield University), Clare Palmer (philosopy and environmental studies, Washington University in St. Louis), and Chris Wilbert (geography, Anglia Polytechnic University).