By E. Cudworth
A provocative sociological account of human family with non-human animals, offering an cutting edge theorization of the social kin of species by way of complicated systemic family of domination, looking at ways different animals are constitutive of human social lives on the dinner desk, as farm animals and as partners in our houses.
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Additional info for Social Lives with Other Animals: Tales of Sex, Death and Love
These positions are not necessarily tightly bound for individual theorists slip across the categories of any kind of taxonomy through different kinds of writing at different times. Notwithstanding this proviso however, I will argue here for a position of critical realism with respect to the concept of species, our knowledge of Other animals and our relations with them. I consider that this is compatible with, and in some ways similar to, the contingent foundationalism necessitated by complexity inflected analysis, on which I draw in Chapter 3.
Some element of realism therefore seems a necessary foundation for arguments for animal rights or welfare or for a more compassionate treatment of Other species, for if animals cannot be seen as independent beings that are able to feel or flourish, they cannot be ill-treated. Tester offers us an account of human-animal relations which is clearly sociological but highly anthropocentric and of little help in considering the specificity of human relations with non-human animals; for animals, in this analysis could be replaced with any other marginalized social group.
To imply discrimination against all animals by all humans does not account for intensity of cruelty inflicted, social location or species difference. Regan for example, criticizes the Inuit peoples use of fur because it is a business in addition to a means of subsistence and cruelties against animals for profit should not be supported (1988: 359). For Francione (1995) the definition of animals as property defines their status, and the only ‘right’ animals require is not to be defined and treated as property.