Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies


Considering that much of human society is structured through its interaction with non-human animals, and since human society relies heavily on the exploitation of animals to serve human needs, human-animal studies has become a rapidly expanding field of research, featuring a number of distinct positions, perspectives, and theories that require nuanced explanation and contextualization.

The first book to provide a full overview of human-animal studies, this volume focuses on the ...

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Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies

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Considering that much of human society is structured through its interaction with non-human animals, and since human society relies heavily on the exploitation of animals to serve human needs, human-animal studies has become a rapidly expanding field of research, featuring a number of distinct positions, perspectives, and theories that require nuanced explanation and contextualization.

The first book to provide a full overview of human-animal studies, this volume focuses on the conceptual construction of animals in American culture and the way in which it reinforces and perpetuates hierarchical human relationships rooted in racism, sexism, and class privilege. Margo DeMello considers interactions between humans and animals within the family, the law, the religious and political system, and other major social institutions, and she unpacks the different identities humans fashion for themselves and for others through animals. Essays also cover speciesism and evolutionary continuities; the role and preservation of animals in the wild; the debate over zoos and the use of animals in sports; domestication; agricultural practices such as factory farming; vivisection; animal cruelty; animal activism; the representation of animals in literature and film; and animal ethics. Sidebars highlight contemporary controversies and issues, with recommendations for additional reading, educational films, and related websites. DeMello concludes with an analysis of major philosophical positions on human social policy and the future of human-animal relations.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Claire Jean Kim
As one of the founders of this field and someone who has helped guide its development, DeMello is uniquely situated to write this book. She does an admirable job detailing the history of human-animal studies, its intricate relations to other fields, and its multi/interdisciplinarity. The right book at the right time.
Arnold Arluke
A 'must' book to own and read. Each chapter is filled with insights extending our understanding of the role and meaning of non-human animals in the modern age. Animals and Society is an essential addition to our bookshelves, required readings, citations lists, and textbook adoptions.
Clifton P. Flynn
The first published text in human-animal studies, this volume undoubtedly sets the standard. Comprehensive in scope, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in approach, painstakingly researched and wonderfully written, it should be the choice for human-animal studies courses in a variety of disciplines. A most impressive accomplishment.

A valuable resource.... Recommended.

San Francisco Book Review - D. Wayne Dworsky
Animals and Society is a substantial encyclopedic resource for understanding the nature of our interactions involving animals.
DeMello's book surpasses the typical textbook in offering a well-written overview of the field, with historical and cultural coverage of the changing categorizations of animals, the social construction of animals, the various human use of animals, attitudes toward animals, and symbolic manifestations of animals.
PsycCritiques - Anne McBride
A well-considered and artfully structured work that provokes thoughtful reflection and stimulates ideas for both theoretical and applied study; it is a worthwhile addition to my library.
A valuable resource.... Recommended.
Humanimalia: A Journal of Human/Animal Interface Studies
Organizing a new, interdisciplinary field is no easy task, and overall DeMello has done a very fine job.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231152952
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 488
  • Sales rank: 820,622
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Margo DeMello teaches anthropology and sociology at Central New Mexico Community College. Her books include Speaking for Animals: Animal Autobiographical Writing; Teaching the Animal: Human-Animal Studies Across the Disciplines; Stories Rabbits Tell: A Natural and Cultural History of a Misunderstood Creature; and Why Animals Matter: The Case for Animal Protection.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsPART I: CONSTRUCTING ANIMALS: ANIMAL CATEGORIES 1. Human-Animal StudiesWhat Is Human-Animal Studies? History of HASHuman-Animal Studies as a Way of SeeingWhere Are Animals? Defining the AnimalUnderstanding Animals and Their UsesMethodological ProblemsTheoretical Starting PointsReal-World Implications of Human-Animal Studies Coming to Animal Studies2. Animal-Human BordersAnimals and Humans: The Great Divide? Non-Western UnderstandingsSpeciesism and the Rise of the Human-Animal BorderEvolution and the Continuity Between the Species3. The Social Construction of AnimalsBiological Systems of Classification Other Systems of ClassificationHow Does One Become a Type of Animal? The Sociozoologic ScaleA New System of Classification The Joy of ChickensPART II: USING ANIMALS: HUMAN-ANIMAL ECONOMIES4. Animals "in the Wild" and in Human SocietiesAnimals and Humans in the Paleolithic EraSubsistence Hunting and the Human-Animal Relationship From Subsistence to SportColonial Expansion and AnimalsControversies Surrounding Subsistence Hunting Modern Relationships with Wildlife: Hunting and ConservationHuman-Wildlife Conflicts The Colonial Animal5. The Domestication of AnimalsHistory of DomesticationResults of DomesticationAltering the Animal BodyIs Domestication Good or Bad? Coming to Animals6. DisplayWhy Do We Watch Animals? Zoos Marine Mammal ParksThe Public Reaction to Zoos and Marine Mammal ParksCircusesAnimal RacingAnimal FightingAlternative Ways of Watching Animals Working from Within: An Ethnographer in Human-Animal Worlds7. The Making and Consumption of MeatMeat Taboos How Animals Become Meat Meat Consumption in the PastModern Meat ProductionWhy We Eat Meat: The Political Economy of AgribusinessSlaughterhouse WorkersCultural Implications of Modern Meat Production and ConsumptionEthics and Meat Eating8. The Pet AnimalWhat Makes a Pet a Pet? The Rise of Pet Keeping The Development of the Modern Pet IndustryWhy We Keep PetsThe Human-Pet RelationshipLove and GriefDevelopment of Humane Attitudes Through PetsContradictory Attitudes Toward PetsPets and Domination Helping People9. Animals and ScienceThe History of VivisectionThe Scope of Animal Research and TestingEnvironmental EnrichmentAnimals as Stand-Ins for HumansThe Social Construction of the Lab AnimalThe History of the Anti-Vivisection MovementAlternatives to Animal Research and Testing The Battle over Animal Research Today10. Animal-Assisted ActivitiesAnimals as Human AssistantsWorking Animals TodayAssistance AnimalsAnimal-Assisted TherapyThe Human-Animal Bond: Benefits to HumansWhat About Benefits to Animals? The Healing Gifts of Animals: Animal Assisted TherapyPART III: ATTITUDES TOWARD ANIMALS11. Working with AnimalsEthnographic FieldworkPeople Who Work with AnimalsAnimal Rescue VolunteersShelter Workers and VeterinariansRanchersLaboratory WorkersSlaughterhouse Workers Working with People Who Work with Animals12. Violence to AnimalsInstitutionalized Violence to AnimalsCulture-Specific ViolenceDeviant ViolenceThe Link Between Violence to Animals and Violence to HumansDomestic Violence and Animal AbuseTreatment and PreventionLegislation AniCare: Treating Animal Abuse13. Human Oppression and Animal SufferingInterlinked Systems of Exploitation The Roots of OppressionOthering and EssentializingSexism and SpeciesismRacism, Slavery, the Holocaust, and Animal ExploitationWhat's the Problem with Comparisons? Racism and Animal AdvocacyCapitalism and the Expansion of Oppression Connecting the Dots: Legitimating OppressionsPART IV: IMAGINING ANIMALS: ANIMALS AS SYMBOL14. Animals in Human ThoughtThe Use of Animals in Human LanguageAnimals as SymbolsAnimals in ArtworkMirrors for Human Identities Animals and the Creative Arts15. Animals in Religion and Folklore Animals in Religious ThoughtAnimal TalesAnimal-Human TransformationsReligious SymbolismAnimal CultsSacrificial LambsCommunities of Faith and the Ethical Treatment of Animals What Do Animals and Religion Have to Do with Each Other? by Laura Hobgood-Oster16. Animals in Literature and FilmAnimals in LiteratureAnimals in Children's LiteratureTalking AnimalsAnimals in Film and TVThe Internet Is Made of Cats Literary Animal EncountersPART V: KNOWING AND RELATING TO ANIMALS: ANIMAL BEHAVIOR AND ANIMAL ETHICS17. Animal Behavior Studies and EthologyHistory of Animal Behavior StudiesAnimal Behavior Studies and ReductionismThe Rise of Modern EthologyAnthropomorphismAnimal IntelligenceAnimal EmotionsAnimal LanguageThe Animal Self Doing and Saying in Play Between Dogs and People18. The Moral Status of Animals History of Philosophical Debates on AnimalsEthical Humanism and the Rights of AnimalsPeter Singer and Utilitarianism Tom Regan and Animal RightsOther Approaches The Morality of Awareness19. The Animal Protection MovementConserving NatureThe Movement's PrecursorsThe Animal Rights Movement: The First WaveThe Animal Rights Movement: The Second WaveThe Modern Animal Rights MovementDemographics: Who Becomes an Animal Rights Activist? Place of the Movement in Contemporary Society20. The Future of the Human-Animal RelationshipBibliographyIndex

Columbia University Press

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