Should Animals Have Political Rights?

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Wiley, Jan 2, 2020 - Philosophy - 140 pages
All political communities must make decisions about how to regulate the treatment of animals. Most states currently protect animals through outlawing the infliction of ‘unnecessary suffering’. But do animals’ rights end there?

In this book, Alasdair Cochrane argues that states must go much further. Animals have rights to be protected not only from the cruelty of individuals, but also from those structures and institutions which routinely (and, in some cases, necessarily) cause them harm, such as industrialised animal agriculture. But even that isn’t adequate. In order to ensure that their interests are taken seriously, it is imperative that we represent their interests throughout the political process – they require not only rights to protection, but also to democratic membership.

Cochrane’s important intervention in this controversial debate will be essential reading for anyone interested in the intersection of political theory and animal rights.

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About the author (2020)

Alasdair Cochrane is Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield

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