Animal Ethics, Liberal Democracies, and a Modest Proposal (Review of Animals, Equality and Democracy)

Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, p. 133-39, 2012

7 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2017 Last revised: 13 Aug 2017

See all articles by Nina Varsava

Nina Varsava

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Date Written: March 4, 2012

Abstract

In Animals, Equality and Democracy, Siobhan O’Sullivan dismisses as ineffective what she sees as the traditional approach to animal ethics, which targets the inconsistent treatment of nonhuman animals in relation to human animals. O’Sullivan targets instead the inconsistent treatment of nonhuman animals in relation to each other — a problem she terms “the internal inconsistency” (as opposed to “the external inconsistency). She maintains that the internal inconsistency defies liberal democratic principles, and that it is therefore unacceptable within the context of Western democracies. This review offers an overview of O’Sullivan’s argument, followed by a critique of her politics, which unfortunately seem more concerned with protecting liberal humanism than with improving the lives of nonhuman animals.

Keywords: Animal Ethics, Political Theory, Liberal Democracy, Legal Protection, Inequality, Government, Visibility, Animals and Economics

Suggested Citation

Varsava, Nina, Animal Ethics, Liberal Democracies, and a Modest Proposal (Review of Animals, Equality and Democracy) (March 4, 2012). Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, p. 133-39, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3009524

Nina Varsava (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.wisc.edu/profiles/nvarsava@wisc.edu

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