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Title: Socialism and animal ethics
Author: Hay, Charlotte Emily Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 9338
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis looks at the relationship between socialism and animal ethics. It argues that, after forty years of a dominant liberal bias in animal ethics, not much has changed for nonhuman animals. It therefore asks whether liberalism is missing something in relation to animal ethics, and whether socialism might be the best vehicle to fill this gap. More specifically, given the institutionalised nature of contemporary animal exploitation, I argue that liberal animal ethics is ill equipped to address the political economy of animal exploitation. I also argue that its strategies for change are problematic, and that more attention must be paid to the issues of class and political agency in relation to the animal protection movement. Socialism seems a promising alternative to liberal animal ethics for several reasons, not least the historical links in practice between socialists and animal protection. Yet no studies currently exist that investigate the ideological links these socialists perceived between their political and moral beliefs. This is therefore one of the contributions this thesis offers to the discipline. I argue that these ideological links relate predominantly to ethical socialist values (such as kinship), which provides a useful moral imperative to care about nonhumans, but does not offer us a complete alternative to liberal animal ethics, since it fails to adequately address the gaps left by the latter – namely, the role of capitalism in animal exploitation and the issues of class, political agency and strategy. On the other hand, Marxism has a long history of association with these issues; I thus propose a merged socialist approach to animal ethics, one that combines ethical socialism with a post-colonial, Marxist analysis in order to create a comprehensive and convincing alternative to liberal animal ethics. This constitutes the first sustained, comprehensive account of socialist animal ethics within the discipline.
Supervisor: Garner, Robert ; Hopkins, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available