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Animals, Society and Culture Lecture 14: Social movements, animal welfare and animal rights 2013-14.

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Presentation on theme: "Animals, Society and Culture Lecture 14: Social movements, animal welfare and animal rights 2013-14."— Presentation transcript:

1 Animals, Society and Culture Lecture 14: Social movements, animal welfare and animal rights

2 Lecture outline Animal protection movements in 19 th century Animal rights movements in 20 th century Gendering of animal protection movement

3 Prevention of cruelty

4 First animal welfare bill 1822 – applied to farm and draft animals 1824 – SPCA formed 1835 – legislation extending Martin’s Act to pets, prohibited bull baiting, cock fighting RSPCA

5 Demarcation of human Kindness Civilising Moral virtue Social control Industrialisation, urbanisation and rise of middle-classes

6 Class bias Animal abuse perpetrated by landowners ignored Target was working-class cruelty Object was not only‘to prevent the exercise of cruelty towards animal, but to spread amongst the lower orders of the people… a degree of moral feeling which would compel them to think and act like those of a superior class’ (Ritvo, 1987:135).

7 Vivisection Practised by respectable and highly educated Challenged moral and social categories of RSPCA 1874 brought prosecution which failed, massive publicity 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act set up licensing system

8 A physiological demonstration with vivisection of a dog. Oil painting by Emile- Edouard Mouchy, From the Wellcome Library, London.

9 Anti-vivisection movement Defected from mainstream humanitarian movement Frances Power Cobbe, feminist, suffragist, founded British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection in 1898 Appealed directly to public through writings by women such as Ouida Emotional appeal in contrast to humanitarian establishment

10 Science the enemy Frances Power Cobbe saw their enemy as the ‘coldly rational materialism’ of science. She saw this as threatening to ‘freeze human emotion and sensibility…. Antivivisection… shielded the heart, the human spirit, from degradation at the hands of heartless science’ (Donovan, 1996:35).

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12 Marginalisation ‘By the early years of the 20th century antivivisection had become a fringe movement, appealing to an assortment of feminists, labour activists, vegetarians, spiritualists, and others who did not fit easily into the established order of society’ (Ritvo, 1987:162).

13 Animal rights New social movements of 1960s and 1970s Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation published in 1975 Animal welfare organisations Animal rights organisations

14 Temple Grandin Treat animals humanely

15 Cows and Temple Grandin

16 ALF – founded 1976 Animal Liberation Front (ALF) Liberation of smoking beagles Terrorists?

17 Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act ‘It is worth noting that no other industry in the U S has ever received such protection against public protests and other forms of activism. However, those businesses that depend on animal use and exploitation, such as biomedicine and agribusiness, have been able to marshall their considerable resources in order to secure such a law.’ (DeMelo, 2012:417)

18 Animal welfare/animal rights Animal welfare – humane treatment, minimising suffering Animal rights – challenges basis of human use of other animals

19 Live animal exports Attracted media attention in 1990s because of films by RSPCA and other welfare groups Persuaded ferries not to carry live animals Violence – Jill Phipps crushed to death by lorry carrying live calves on way to Coventry airport

20 Image of animal protection movement ‘it changed its image from being middle class, female and elderly into being classless and youthful’ (Ryder, 1996:169). Gained intellectual respectability Campaigned using direct action and publicity, Concentrated on institutionalised cruelties of factory farming, wildlife exploitation (hunting) and animal experimentation ‘rather than upon the treatment of domestic pets’ (Ryder, 1996:169). It ‘became increasingly political’

21 Was he right? In 19 th century women active in humane societies – feminising movement (Isenberg, 2006) This association made it easy to dismiss movement as sentimental, emotional But women in animal rights movements also in majority, and in other new social movements

22 Feminist issues Vandana Shiva, Indian feminist, argues that peace and the environment are feminist issues, they represent a culture of life rather than the ‘culture of death’ which is the ‘basis for capitalist accumulation’ (Shiva, 1989:13).

23 Why? NSM activists come from that sector of the middle class working in creative and welfare occupations Women between 68% and 80% of animal activists, men take leadership roles Gender socialisation Peek, C W, Bell N J, and Dunham, C C (1996) ‘Gender, gender ideology, and animal rights advocacy’ in Gender and Society, 10 (4):

24 Eco-feminism This is because ‘women have known what it is to live in patriarchies, to know what it is to confront that masculine scientific detachment that allows abuse to continue for abstract greater goals… [women] care about a particular animal’s suffering in this particular situation now. So they are situating their caring, they’re not abstracting it.’ (Munro, 2008:389) (President of Animal Liberation, Victoria, Australia).

25 Other reasons Relational moral orientation (Gilligan) Egalitarian gender ideology (Peek et al) Location within household as carers Experience of patriarchal oppression Socialisation Gendered division of labour (Munro)

26 Summary Animal protection movement in 19 th C about civilising the working class and men. Middle class and feminising. Movements in which women predominate can be dismissed as based on emotion rather than rational science therefore not to be taken seriously. Animal welfare based on utilitarian notion that animal suffering is OK if it’s for the greater good, i.e. the good of humans. Otherwise it should be avoided. Animal rights based on idea that individual animals have rights and their suffering is not OK – full stop. Animal protection movement gendered – women form majority of members even though leadership positions are monopolized by men.


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