Following are some of the books that we are very excited about this month!
Marceau, J. (2019). Beyond Cages: Animal Law and Criminal Punishment. Cambridge University Press.
For all the diversity of views within the animal protection movement, there is a surprising consensus about the need for more severe criminal justice interventions against animal abusers. More prosecutions and longer sentences, it is argued, will advance the status of animals in law and society. Breaking from this mold, Professor Justin Marceau demonstrates that a focus on ‘carceral animal law’ puts the animal rights movement at odds with other social justice movements, and may be bad for humans and animals alike. Animal protection efforts need to move beyond cages and towards systemic solutions if the movement hopes to be true to its own defining ethos of increased empathy and resistance to social oppression. Providing new insights into how the lessons of criminal justice reform should be imported into the animal abuse context, Beyond Cages is a valuable contribution to the literature on animal welfare and animal rights law.
Kevany, K. M. (Ed.). (2019). Plant-Based Diets for Succulence and Sustainability. Routledge.
This collection takes an interdisciplinary look at how the transformation towards plant-based diets is becoming more culturally acceptable, economically accessible, technically available and politically viable. We offer strategies for achieving sustainable food systems without having to forgo succulence, sensuality and sacredness of food. Shifting food systems is one of humanity’s biggest challenges and greatest opportunities. This book explores adaptable and health-promoting plant-based diets, which by their nature can support nourishing environmental, social, ethical, political, and economic outcomes. In this book, detailed descriptions are provided of what constitutes a healthy plant-based diet and active lifestyle. Readers are invited to engage with a community of practitioners delving more deeply into strategies for transitioning societies to greater succulence and sustainability. Throughout the first section of the book, environmental challenges and opportunities for reversing climate change are highlighted as our most urgent action. The focus then turns to global food systems and the intersections that are undermining human and animal health. The final section offers preventative approaches and encourages reorienting systems of law, economics and education to exemplify integrity, coordination, coherence and compassion.
Kogan, L., & Erdman, P. (Eds.). (2019). Pet Loss, Grief, and Therapeutic Interventions: Practitioners Navigating the Human-Animal Bond. Routledge.
This book recognizes and legitimizes the significance of pet and animal loss by exploring the various expressions of trauma and grief experienced by those who work with, live with, or own an animal or pet. The chapters of Pet Loss, Grief, and Therapeutic Interventions weave together cutting-edge research with best practices and practical clinical advice for working with grieving clients. Beginning with an overview of the human–animal bond, the book guides readers through the many facets of pet loss, including topics such as animal hospice and euthanasia, offering a comprehensive account of one of the field’s most rapidly emerging areas. Designed to help mental health professionals support clients coping with pet loss, the collection explores personal narratives, current theories, up-to-date research, and future directions. This unique and comprehensive book will be of interest to students, clinicians, academicians, and researchers in the fields of counseling, psychology, and social work.
Wolloch, N. (2019). The Enlightenment’s Animals: Changing Conceptions of Animals in the Long Eighteenth-Century. Amsterdam University Press.
In The Enlightenment’s Animals Nathaniel Wolloch takes a broad view of changing conceptions of animals in European culture during the long eighteenth century. Combining discussions of intellectual history, the history of science, the history of historiography, the history of economic thought, and, not least, art history, this book describes how the way animals were discussed and conceived in different intellectual and artistic contexts underwent a dramatic shift during this period. While in the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century the main focus was on the sensory and cognitive characteristics of animals, during the late Enlightenment a new outlook emerged, emphasizing their conception as economic resources. Focusing particularly on seventeenth-century Dutch culture, and on the Scottish Enlightenment, Wolloch discusses developments in other countries as well, presenting a new look at a topic of increasing importance in modern scholarship.
Nettleton, C. (2019). The Artist as Animal in Nineteenth Century Literature. Springer.
The Artist as Animal in Nineteenth-Century French Literature traces the evolution of the relationship between artists and animals in fiction from the Second Empire to the fin de siècle. This book examines examples of visual literature, inspired by the struggles of artists such as Edouard Manet and Vincent van Gogh. Edmond and Jules de Goncourt’s Manette Salomon (1867), Émile Zola’s Therèse Raquin (1867), Jules Laforgue’s “At the Berlin Aquarium” (1895) and “Impressionism” (1883), Octave Mirbeau’s In the Sky (1892-1893) and Rachilde’s L’Animale (1893) depict vanguard painters and performers as being like animals, whose unique vision revolted against stifling traditions. Juxtaposing these literary works with contemporary animal theory (McHugh, Deleuze, Guattari and Derrida), zoo studies (Berger, Rothfels and Lippit) and feminism (Donovan, Adams and Haraway), Claire Nettleton explores the extent to which the nineteenth-century dissolution of the human subject contributed to a radical, modern aesthetic. Utilizing these interdisciplinary methodologies, Nettleton argues that while inducing anxiety regarding traditional humanist structures, the “artist-animal,” an embodiment of artistic liberation within an urban setting, is, at the same time, a paradigmatic trope of modernity.
Mwangi, E. (2019). The Postcolonial Animal: African Literature and Posthuman Ethics. African Perspectives.
Despite the central role that animals play in African writing and daily life, African literature and African thinkers remain conspicuously absent from the field of animal studies. The Postcolonial Animal: African Literature and Posthuman Ethics demonstrates the importance of African writing to animal studies by analyzing how postcolonial African writing—including folktales, religion, philosophy, and anticolonial movements—has been mobilized to call for humane treatment of nonhuman others. Mwangi illustrates how African authors grapple with the possibility of an alternative to eating meat, and how they present postcolonial animal-consuming cultures as shifting toward an embrace of cultural and political practices that avoid the use of animals and minimize animal suffering. The Postcolonial Animal analyzes texts that imagine a world where animals are not abused or used as a source of food, clothing, or labor, and that offer instruction in how we might act responsibly and how we should relate to others—both human and nonhuman—in order to ensure a world free of oppression. The result is an equitable world where even those who are utterly foreign to us are accorded respect and where we recognize the rights of all marginalized groups.
Parkinson, C. (2019). Animals, Anthropomorphism and Mediated Encounters. Routledge.
This book critically investigates the pervasiveness of anthropomorphised animals in popular culture. Anthropomorphism in popular visual media has long been denounced for being unsophisticated or emotionally manipulative. It is often criticised for over-expressing similarities between humans and other animals. This book focuses on everyday encounters with visual representations of anthropomorphised animals and considers how attributing other animals with humanlike qualities speaks to a complex set of power relations. Through a series of case studies, it explores how anthropomorphism is produced and circulated and proposes that it can serve to create both misunderstandings and empathetic connections between humans and other animals. This book will appeal to academics and students interested in visual media, animal studies, sociology and cultural studies.
Kaiser, K. R. (2019). An Ethics Beyond: Posthumanist Animal Encounters and Variable Kindness in the Fiction of George Saunders (Vol. 154). Universitat de València.
This study examines the fiction of contemporary American author George Saunders in terms of how it presents situations applicable to the chief notions of posthumanist ethics and how these conceptions concern nonhuman animals, which are prevalent in his writing. Posthumanist ethics can help us understand what is at play in Saunders s fiction. Meanwhile, his texts can help us understand what is at stake in posthumanist ethics. This interdisciplinary project may be beneficial both to conceiving new notions of ethics that are more inclusive and, more implicitly, to understanding the relevance of Saunders s fiction to the current American sociocultural climate.
de Backer, C., Dare, J., & Costello, L. (Eds.). (2019). To Eat Or Not to Eat Meat: How Vegetarian Dietary Choices Influence Our Social Lives. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Increasingly, people are shifting to vegetarian, plant-based, or vegan diets. This shift is having profound effects on our social interactions, and this is the focus of this book. Becoming a vegetarian or vegan involves more than just changing your diet. It can change how you socially and emotionally connect with family, friends and the broader community, shape your outlook on life, and open up new worlds and contacts. It can also lead to uncomfortable situations, if dietary choices involving a rejection of meat are read by others as an ethical and moral judgement on mainstream dietary choices. This book adopts an innovative narrative approach, and draws on stories across the globe to consider how the food choices we make in our everyday lives can lead to complex, and sometimes life changing, social consequences. The narratives cover a range of topics, including the moral reasons behind some individuals’ decision to change their diets, the religious or ecological considerations, and the potential health and social ramifications. To date, the social consequences of selecting a plant-based diet have been sorely overlooked in favour of texts that have documented the benefits of such diets, and usually focus on health, animal welfare and/or environmental issues, with the aim of persuading readers to give up meat, and change to a ‘healthy’ and/or ‘sustainable’ diet. Cultural studies texts considering vegetarianism or veganism have typically targeted academic audiences with analyses of how identity is constructed through food and dietary choices. In contrast, this book offers a unique window onto how our social lives are implicated in our food choices, and is critical in understanding the importance of diet as embedded in complex social processes.
McCorry, S. and Miller, J. (Eds). (2019). Literature and Meat since 1900. Palgrave Macmillan.
This collection of essays centers on literary representations of meat-eating, bringing aesthetic questions into dialogue with more established research on the ethics and politics of meat. From the decline of traditional animal husbandry to the emergence of intensive agriculture and the biotechnological innovation of in vitro meat, the last hundred years have seen dramatic changes in meat production. Meat consumption has risen substantially, inciting the emergence of new forms of political subjectivity, such as the radical rejection of meat production in veganism. Featuring essays on both canonical and lesser-known authors, Literature and Meat Since 1900 illustrates the ways in which our meat regime is shaped, reproduced and challenged as much by cultural and imaginative factors as by political contestation and moral reasoning.
Horowitz, A. (2019). Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond. Scribner.
We keep dogs and are kept by them. We love dogs and (we assume) we are loved by them. We buy them sweaters, toys, shoes; we are concerned with their social lives, their food, and their health. The story of humans and dogs is thousands of years old but is far from understood. In Our Dogs, Ourselves, Alexandra Horowitz explores all aspects of this unique and complex interspecies pairing. As Horowitz considers the current culture of dogdom, she reveals the odd, surprising, and contradictory ways we live with dogs. We celebrate their individuality but breed them for sameness. Despite our deep emotional relationships with dogs, legally they are property to be bought, sold, abandoned, or euthanized as we wish. Even the way we speak to our dogs is at once perplexing and delightful. In thirteen thoughtful and charming chapters, Our Dogs, Ourselves affirms our profound affection for this most charismatic of animals—and opens our eyes to the companions at our sides as never before.
Blattner, C. (2019). Protecting Animals Within and Across Borders: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction and the Challenges of Globalization. Oxford University Press.
Global entanglements and challenges abound in animal law, as multinationals rise in number and power, production facilities move to other countries, and animals are shipped for use and slaughter across borders by the millions. In this environment, it has become increasingly difficult for states to gain certainty about whether or under what circumstances they can protect animals in cases involving a cross-border element. Even worse, many states do not even know whether it is worth protecting animals within their border, as they have a deep and abiding fear of outsourcing and consider industries that use animals reliable and valuable taxpayers, even as they probe the limits of the law. These developments paint a dystopian future for animals, one in which corporations reign law, the free market equates to exploitation, and globalization translates as “globalization of animal cruelty.” In other fields of law, like human rights law, criminal law, antitrust law, securities law, and environmental law, extraterritorial jurisdiction is an established legal tool to fill gaps in transboundary governance, offer perspective-taking through legal pluralism, and encourage international treaty efforts. The main claim of this book is that the law of jurisdiction cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the struggles of animal law, in particular, because it carries potential to bring to a halt and prevent races to the bottom, which we owe animals on grounds of justice. The book leads readers through the what, the why, and the how questions of establishing jurisdiction in the complex and eclectic context of animal law. Using the avenues of trade law, general public international law, and animal law, pieces of a vast puzzle are brought together to weave a comprehensive net of knowledge that can be used for future advocacy and legislation. To ensure that extraterritorial animal law does not become complicit in oppressing ethnic and cultural minorities, the book offers critical interdisciplinary perspectives, informed by posthumanist and postcolonialist discourse. The topic invites readers to engage in broader discussions about global justice, interspecies ethics, and the ever-lingering struggle between economics and welfare, but it also aims to find closure and offers ways to resolve these controversies.