My new work On Their Own Terms: Animal Liberation for the 21st Century is now in print as a paperback.
One aspect of the book I’d like to mention here is the decision to reclaim the “animal liberation” idea.
I was trained as a legal thinker. For years, no wonder, I liked the term “rights” as a signal of serious consideration and respect for the interests of non-human animals. To declare our support for “rights” meant we weren’t satisfied with an anti-cruelty tradition that accepted the habit of forcing other animals to conform to human purposes, as long as we abided by some set of “humane” standards.
But of course the nonhuman communities do not themselves construct rights; we do.
Perhaps the question of animal rights ought to be reversed, and examined with regard to ourselves: Should humans have the right to domesticate other animals?
To make them dependent on us?
Should we be so entitled? Why?
A questioning of that entitlement is key to an authentic call for liberation. The 1970s conception of “animal liberation”—which still influences major campaigns of high-profile charities—by-passed that question, and in some ways even assumed that animal control in nature is a good thing. The serious effects of “missing animals on their own terms” could do with a reversal, today.
To find the book where you are, please look:
- here for Britain (current list price £8.09);
- in Canada (currently CDN $16.90).
The “Look Inside” function is enabled so you can browse some of the interior.
matt shaw says the book examines “crucial points that other vegan/animal rights/animal liberation writers have either overlooked or shied away from.”
It does. And I hope the ensuing thought and conversations will take these points further, into the policy sphere, and ultimately renew and strengthen public interest in the idea of animal liberation.