Some of the most important, influential, and original texts on the standing of animals have, in recent years, been written not by philosophical ethicists but by political theorists such as Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka (2011), Robert Garner (2013), Alasdair Cochrane (2012), and Siobhan O’Sullivan (2011). What follows will argue that their work is partly constitutive of a “political turn” in the discourse of animal rights. Section I will try to shed some light on this idea of a political turn and its driving motivations. Sections II and III will try to show that the turn involves a simultaneous constraining of conceptions of human/animal equality and a broadened appeal to liberal political values. Section IV will address a concern that such a constrained conception of equality, and the allied pragmatism which goes with it, may drive the turn towards rapprochement with animal exploitation through an abandonment of the project of animal liberation. I will suggest that such a danger only arises if key commitments of the turn are combined with a further set of commitments concerning autonomy and agency, commitments that are best left behind. The concluding section, V, will briefly comment on the merits of the kind of discourse that the turn (so far) has involved.
- Bekoff, M., & Pierce, J. (2009). Wild justice: The moral lives of animals. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
- Cochrane, A. (2012). Animal rights without liberation. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
- Derrida, J. (2005). The politics of friendship. (G. Collins, Trans.). London, England: Verso.
- Derrida, J. (2008). The animal that therefore I am. (M. Mallet, Ed.; D. Wills, Trans.). New York, NY: Fordham University Press.
- De Waal, F. (2009). The age of empathy: Nature’s lessons for a kinder society. Toronto, Canada: McClelland & Stewart.
- Donaldson, S., & Kymlicka, W. (2011). Zoopolis: A political theory of animal rights. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
- Dunayer, J. (2004). Speciesism. Derwood, MD: Ryce.
- Feinberg, J. (1980). The Rights of Animals and Unborn Generations. In J. Feinberg, Rights, justice and the bounds of liberty (pp. 159–184). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Original work published in 1971.
- Francione, G. (1996). Rain without thunder: The ideology of the animal rights movement. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
- Francione, G. (2000). Introduction to animal rights: Your child or the dog. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
- Francione, G. (2008). Animals as persons: Essays on the abolition of animal exploitation. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
- Francione, G., & Garner, R. (2010). The animal rights debate: Abolition or regulation? New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
- Garner, R. (2013). A theory of justice for animals. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
- Haraway, D. (2003). The companion species manifesto. Chicago, IL: Prickly Paradigm Press.
- Haraway, D. (2008). When species meet. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
- Hearne, V. (2007). Adam’s task: Calling animals by name. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing.
- Milligan, T. (2010). Beyond animal rights: Food, pets and ethics. London, England: Continuum.
- Milligan, T. (2013). Civil disobedience: Protest, justification and the law. London, England: Bloomsbury.
- Milligan, T. (2015, in press). Animal ethics: The basics. London, England: Routledge.
- O’Sullivan, S. (2011). Animals, equality and democracy. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Pluhar, E. (1995). Beyond prejudice: The moral significance of human and nonhuman Animals. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
- Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
- Regan, T. (2001). Defending animal rights. Urbana and Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.
- Regan, T. (2003). Animal rights, human wrongs. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
- Regan, T. (2004). The case for animal rights (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Singer, P. (1995). Animal Liberation (2nd ed.). London, England: Random House.
- Singer, P. (2011). Practical Ethics (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.