Governing Animals: Animal Welfare and the Liberal State

By Kimberly K. Smith | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Conclusion

The animal kingdom turns out to be at the heart of the contemporary debate on the rela-
tionship between man and nature.

LUC FERRY, The New Ecological Order

ONE OF THE paradoxes I have discovered while writing this book is that everyone is interested in animals but no one thinks they’re important. More precisely, despite the size and complexity of our animal governance apparatus, political scientists and political philosophers have devoted very little attention to how and why we govern animals. It should be clear by now that I think that’s a mistake; animals are interesting and important enough in their own right to warrant scholarly attention, quite apart from their contribution to human well-being. Many of the animals we live with are sentient, intelligent beings that make moral demands on us every day. Why shouldn’t our studies of politics attend to them as well?

But one can also defend such attention on the grounds that animals and humans are so interdependent that one can’t govern a political community humanely and justly without attending to its animal members. Indeed, shifting our scholarly focus from humans to animals should give us a new perspective on government and on our political values. As Luc Ferry has argued, animals are central to our relationship with the natural world; they occupy the critical space between human and nonhuman nature. Thinking about how we govern animals is a good way to approach the complex relationship between the human community and the biotic community. In short, a study like this one should offer insights into how we can better care for the welfare of animals just for their own sakes, but it should also help us better govern humans and our natural environment. Toward those dual ends, this chapter offers some conclusions about the future of the animal rights movement and the future of liberalism.

-155-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Governing Animals: Animal Welfare and the Liberal State
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 207

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?