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The Ethics of Captivity
     

The Ethics of Captivity

by Lori Gruen (Editor)
 

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In the United States roughly 2 million people are incarcerated; billions of animals are held captive (and then killed) in the food industry every year; hundreds of thousands of animals are kept in laboratories; thousands are in zoos and aquaria; millions of "pets" are captive in our homes. Surprisingly, despite the rich ethical questions it raises, very

Overview

In the United States roughly 2 million people are incarcerated; billions of animals are held captive (and then killed) in the food industry every year; hundreds of thousands of animals are kept in laboratories; thousands are in zoos and aquaria; millions of "pets" are captive in our homes. Surprisingly, despite the rich ethical questions it raises, very little philosophical attention has been paid to questions raised by captivity.

Though conditions of captivity vary widely for humans and for other animals, there are common ethical themes that imprisonment raises, including the value of liberty, the nature of autonomy, the meaning of dignity, and the impact of routine confinement on physical and psychological well-being. This volume brings together scholars, scientists, and sanctuary workers to address in fifteen new essays the ethical issues captivity raises. Section One contains chapters written by those with expert knowledge about particular conditions of captivity and includes discussion of how captivity is experienced by dogs, whales and dolphins, elephants, chimpanzees, rabbits, formerly farmed animals, and human prisoners. Section Two contains chapters by philosophers and social theorists that reflect on the social, political, and ethical issues raised by captivity, including discussions about confinement, domestication, captive breeding for conservation, the work of moral repair, dignity and an ethics of sight, and the role that coercion plays.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Combining heartfelt but sober descriptions of the captivity experiences of several animal species (including elephants and chimpanzees) and of human prisoners with examinations of the ethical problems captivity raises, these essays significantly challenge a range of practices that most people take for granted... This collection has much to offer... Recommended."
—Choice

"The Ethics of Captivity is a very important book and will make a significant and unique contribution to the literature on the lives of innumerable individuals. The essays cover a lot of ground both in dealing with the major issues and from a nice comparative perspective. This book must be widely read not only by academics but also by people who can make a difference for the billions of animals and millions of people who live in captivity. The content, organization, and accessible style of these essays will allow people with many different interests to learn about the ethics of captivity."—Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals, and editor of Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation

"The book's manifold perspectives deliver a valuably intricate understanding of the nuanced inflections we might consider when we assess and deliberate the ethics of captivity...generally intelligent and useful..."
— Journal of Animal Ethics

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199977994
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
05/28/2014
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Lori Gruen is Professor of Philosophy, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University where she also coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies and directs the Ethics in Society Project. She is the author, most recently, of Ethics and Animals (2011) and co-editor with Carol Adams of Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth (2014).

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