Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Research Articles
Published: 2017-04-08

Cosmopolitanism in a Carnivorous World

Western Governors University
Animals Consumption Cosmopolitanism Derrida International Relations Shklar Veganism


This essay contributes to an emerging “animal turn” in political theory and International Relations by exploring the possibilities of a cosmopolitanism that is more attentive to human consumption prac- tices involving bodily harm to and destruction of animals. Intertwining Jacques Derrida’s work on hospitality and animals, Judith Shklar’s insights on legalism and passive injustice, and studies on an- imal morality and emotion, I develop what I call “vegan cosmopolitanism.” Vegan cosmopolitanism is a reimagining of cosmopolitanism that is inclusive of nonhuman animals within the global communi- ty and considers the consumption of animal products as a matter of cosmopolitan justice. The ar- guments in this essay seek to reorient cosmopolitanism as a non-anthropocentric perspective on global justice in pursuit of realizing the always-present possibilities of new and inventive ways of encountering and attending to the vulnerabilities of “other” living beings. 


  1. Aaltola, E. (2005). Animal ethics and interest conflicts. Ethics & the Environment, 10(1), 19 - 48.
  2. Aaltola, E. (2015). Politico-moral apathy and omnivore's akrasia: Views from the rationalist tradition. Politics & Animals, 1(1), 35 - 49.
  3. Animal Aid UK. (n.d.). Animal farming. Retrieved from
  4. Animal Equality International (n.d.). Investigations. Retrieved from
  5. Baehr, P. (2005). Social extremity, communities of fate, and the sociology of SARS. European Journal of Sociology, 46(2), 179 - 211.
  6. Baker, G. (2009). Cosmopolitanism as hospitality: Revisiting identity and difference in cosmopolitanism. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 34(2), 107 - 28.
  7. Bekoff, M. (2002). Minding animals: Awareness, emotions, and heart. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  8. Bernstein, M. (2004). Neo‐speciesism. Journal of Social Philosophy, 35(3), 380 - 90.
  9. Bray, D. (2013). Pragmatic ethics and the will to believe in cosmopolitanism. International Theory, 5(3), 446 - 476.
  10. Brock, G. (2009). Global justice: A cosmopolitan account. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  11. Brosnan, S. F., Schiff, H. C., & de Waal, F. B. (2005). Tolerance for inequity may increase with social closeness in chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 272, 253 - 280.
  12. Calarco, M. (2004). Deconstruction is not vegetarianism: Humanism, subjectivity, and animal ethics. Continental Philosophy Review, 37(2), 175 - 201.
  13. Calarco, M. (2007). Thinking through animals: Reflections on the ethical and political stakes of the question of the animal in Derrida. Oxford Literary Review, 29(1), 1 - 15.
  14. Calarco, M. (2008). Zoographies: The question of the animal from Heidegger to Derrida. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
  15. Cooke, S. (2014). Perpetual strangers: Animals and the cosmopolitan right. Political Studies, 62(4), 930 - 944.
  16. Deacon, T. W. (1998). The symbolic species: The co-evolution of language and the brain. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
  17. De Waal, F. (2011). What is an animal emotion? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1224(1), 191 - 206.
  18. Delanty, G. (2009). The cosmopolitan imagination: The renewal of critical social theory. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  19. Derrida, J. (1991). 'Eating Well,' or the calculation of the subject: An interview with Jacques Derrida. In E. Cadava, P. Connor, & J.L. Nancy (Eds.), Who comes after the subject? (pp. 96 - 119). New York, NY: Routledge Press.
  20. Derrida, J. (1999a). Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  21. Derrida, J. (1999b). Justice, law and philosophy--an interview with Jacques Derrida. South African Journal of Philosophy, 18(3), 279 - 286.
  22. Derrida, J. (2000a). Hostipitality. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, 5(3), 3 - 18.
  23. Derrida, J. (2000b). Of hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle invites Jacques Derrida to respond. (R. Bowlby, Trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  24. Derrida, J. (2001). On cosmopolitanism and forgiveness. New York, NY: Routledge Press.
  25. Derrida, J. (2002a). The animal that therefore I am (more to follow). Critical Inquiry, 28(2), 369 - 418.
  26. Derrida, J. (2002b). Acts of religion. New York, NY: Routledge Press.
  27. Derrida, J. (2003). And say the animal responded? In C. Wolfe (Ed.), Zoontologies: The question of the animal (pp. 121 - 146). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
  28. Derrida, J. (2005). Rogues: Two essays on reason. (P-A. Brault & M. Naas, Trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  29. Derrida, J. (2009). The beast and the sovereign: Volume I. (G. Bennington, Trans.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  30. Derrida, J. & Roudinesco, E. (2004). For what tomorrow? A dialogue. (J. Fort, Trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  31. Donaldson, S., & Kymlicka, W. (2011). Zoopolis: A political theory of animal rights. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  32. Donaldson, S., & Kymlicka, W. (2015). Farmed animal sanctuaries: The heart of the movement? Politics & Animals, 1(1), 50 - 74.
  33. Food Empowerment Project. (n.d). Food is power. Retrieved from
  34. Forrester, K. (2012). Judith Shklar, Bernard Williams and political realism. European Journal of Political Theory, 11(3), 247 - 72.
  35. Francione, G. L. (2008). Animals as persons: Essays on the abolition of animal exploitation. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
  36. Francione, G. L. (2012). Animal welfare, happy meat, and veganism as the moral baseline. In D.M. Kaplan (Ed.), The philosophy of food (pp. 169 - 189). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  37. Garnett, T. (2009). Livestock-related greenhouse gas emissions: Impacts and options for policy makers. Environmental Science & Policy, 12(4), 491 - 503.
  38. Gibson, M. (2011). The universal declaration of animal welfare. Deakin Law Review, 16(2), 539 - 67.
  39. Harrison, R. (2013). Animal machines. Boston, MA: Cabi Press.
  40. Holloway, L., Bear, C., & Wilkinson, K. (2014). Re-capturing bovine life: Robot - cow relationships, freedom and control in dairy farming. Journal of Rural Studies, 33(1), 131 - 40.
  41. Hooley, D., & Nobis, N. (2015). A moral argument for veganism. In A. Chignell, T. Cuneo, & M. Halteman (Eds.), Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments About the Ethics of Eating (pp. 92 - 108). New York, NY: Routledge Press.
  42. Horta, O. (2010). What is speciesism? Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics, 23(3), 243 - 266.
  43. Jazeel, T. (2011). Spatializing difference beyond cosmopolitanism: Rethinking planetary futures. Theory, Culture, & Society, 28(5), 75 - 97.
  44. Kant, I. (1991). Kant: Political writings (H.S. Reiss, Ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  45. Kim, J. (2014, January 15). Exclusive interview: Nobel prize winner Alvin Roth on future of food. Retrieved from
  46. King, B. J. (2013). How animals grieve. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  47. La Caze, M. (2007). At the intersection Kant, Derrida, and the relation between ethics and politics. Political Theory, 35(6), 781 - 805.
  48. Lawford-Smith, H. (2015). Unethical consumption and obligations to signal. Ethics & International Affairs, 29(3), 315 - 330.
  49. Lu, C. (2000). The one and many faces of cosmopolitanism. Journal of Political Philosophy, 8(2), 244 - 267.
  50. McMichael, A. J., Powles, J.W., Butler, C.D. & Uauy, R. (2007). Food, Livestock Production, Energy, Climate Change, and Health, The Lancet, 370(9594), 1253 - 63.
  51. Meatless Monday. (2015, December 7). COP21 and Meatless Monday: Less meat = less heat. Retrieved from
  52. Nussbaum, M. C. (1994, October 1). Patriotism and cosmopolitanism. Retrieved from
  53. Nussbaum, M. C. (2006, February 3). The moral status of animals. Retrieved from
  54. Paulson, S. (2013, April 29). The cosmopolitan ape. Retrieved from
  55. Pew Commission. (2008). Putting meat on the table: Industrial farm animal production in America. Retrieved from
  56. Rasmussen, C. E. (2011). The autonomous animal: Self-governance and the modern subject. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
  57. Regan, T. (1983). The case for animal rights. Berkeley, CA: University of California.
  58. Resnick, B. (2014, March 31). It may take a global vegetarian movement to combat climate change. Retrieved from
  59. Roth, A. (2007). Repugnance as a constraint on markets. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21(3), 37 - 58.
  60. Ryder, R. (2015). Speciesism, painism and happiness: A morality for the twenty-first century. Andrews UK Limited.
  61. Safina, C. (2015). Beyond words: What animals think and feel. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company.
  62. Shapiro, P. (2006). Moral agency in other animals. Theoretical Medicine & Bioethics, 27(4), 357 - 73.
  63. Shklar, J. N. (1964). Legalism: An essay on law, morals, and politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  64. Shklar, J. N. (1990). The faces of injustice. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
  65. Singer, P. (2002). Animal liberation. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
  66. Solotaroff, P. (2013, December 10). In the Belly of the Beast. Retrieved from
  67. Still, J. (2010). Derrida and hospitality: Theory and practice. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  68. The Humane League. (n.d.). Cage-free policies are gaining global momentum. Retrieved from
  69. The Vegan Society. (n.d.). Key facts. Retrieved from
  70. Tilman, D. & Clark, M. (2014). Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature, 515, 518 - 522.
  71. Townsend, S. W., Koski, S. E., Byrne, R. W., Slocombe, K. E., Bickel, B., Boeckle, M., Braga Goncalves, I., Burkart, J. M., Flower, T., Gaunet, F., & Glock, H.J. (2016). Exorcising Grice's ghost: an empirical approach to studying intentional communication in animals. Biological Reviews (Forthcoming).
  72. Walker, A. (1988). Living by the word: Selected writings, 1973 - 1987. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  73. Well-Fed World. (n.d). Our mission. Retrieved from
  74. Wood, D. (1999). Comment ne pas manger--Deconstruction and humanism. In H. P. Steeves (Ed.), Animal others: On ethics, ontology, & animal life (pp. 15 - 36). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
  75. World Animal Protection. (n.d.). Protecting animals in communities. Retrieved from
  76. World Day for Farmed Animals. (n.d.) Retrieved from
  77. Yoder, K. (2016, May 21). Climatarian, vegavore, reducetarian: Why we have so many words for cutting back on meat. Retrieved from
  78. Youatt, R. (2012). Power, pain, and the interspecies politics of foie gras. Political Research Quarterly, 65(2), 346 - 58.
  79. Youatt, R. (2014). Interspecies relations, international relations: Rethinking anthropocentric politics. Millennium Journal of International Studies, 43(1), 207 - 223.