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Animal/Human Studies: a State of Art

Animal studies is a recent field born from the deconstructivism of our society, that is to say from post-modernism, post-humanism, Derrida’s “remise en question” of thinking. It is largely influenced by the philosopher Peter Singer who published in 1975 an important book, Animal Liberation. In this book, Singer has demonstrated the existence of physical and psychic sufferings in animals caused by breeding, meat consumption and testing on animals. He questioned the moral legitimacy of certain animal-related practices and called for their abrogation. His writings had an important influence on
society, pressing the emergence of political movements advocating animal liberation, one of them, the Animal Liberation Front, using the direct action. So, animal studies’ developped thanks to the evolution of animal ethics (Jeangène-Vilmer 2009), to animal rights movement (Jasper & Nelkin 1992), and to a general anxiety about animals’ fate essentially reserved to western societies. But they evolved also from the development of mouvements for the protection of animals, born in the XIX century as a reaction against the human domination on animals. Sociologists and anthropologists ended up interested in the subject. Today, for example, more than 100 courses dedicated to this theme are now on the program of North American universities. And from Sciences the topic is now transferred to Humanities. Continuer la lecture

Laura Battini

Chargé de Recherche au CNRS (UMR 7192 – PROCLAC, Paris), spécialiste d’architecture et d’iconologie syro-mésopotamienne

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