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
Date Written: March 4, 2012
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
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