Just a Dog: Understanding Animal Cruelty and Ourselves

Just a Dog: Understanding Animal Cruelty and Ourselves

by Arnold Arluke
     
 

Psychiatrists define cruelty to animals as a psychological problem or personality disorder. Legally, animal cruelty is described by a list of behaviors. In Just a Dog, Arnold Arluke argues that our current constructs of animal cruelty are decontextualized-imposed without regard to the experience of the groups committing the act. Yet those who engage in animal cruelty… See more details below

Overview

Psychiatrists define cruelty to animals as a psychological problem or personality disorder. Legally, animal cruelty is described by a list of behaviors. In Just a Dog, Arnold Arluke argues that our current constructs of animal cruelty are decontextualized-imposed without regard to the experience of the groups committing the act. Yet those who engage in animal cruelty have their own understandings of their actions and of themselves as actors. In this fascinating book, Arluke probes those understandings and reveals the surprising complexities of our relationships with animals.

Just a Dog draws from interviews with more than 250 people, including humane agents who enforce cruelty laws, college students who tell stories of childhood abuse of animals, hoarders who chronically neglect the welfare of many animals, shelter workers who cope with the ethics of euthanizing animals, and public relations experts who use incidents of animal cruelty for fundraising purposes. Through these case studies, Arluke shows how the meaning of "cruelty" reflects and helps to create identities and ideologies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592134724
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2006
Series:
Animals, Culture, and Society Ser.
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
544,757
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : just a dog1
1Agents : feigning authority21
2Adolescents : appropriating adulthood55
3Hoarders : shoring up self85
4Shelter workers : finding authenticity115
5Marketers : celebrating community147
Conclusion : cruelty is good to think183
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