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The Politics of Animal Rights Advocacy

Kim Stallwood

Abstract


The main aim of this paper is to make the case that the politics of animal rights advocacy rests with establishing the moral and legal status of animals as a public policy issue. Presently, animal rights is primarily framed as an optional lifestyle choice. It is not understood as a matter for mainstream politics,  including public policy, the policies of political parties,  regulations and legislation. Starting with Barbara Noske’s  concept of the animal industrial complex, I consider the present status of the many traditions, cultural norms, economic and other incentives which license our instrumental use animals for human gain. I propose a five-part evaluation process of social movements and use it to evaluate the modern animal rights movement. I critique its present strategy with its emphasis on personal lifestyle choice as inadequate in challenging the animal industrial complex. I conclude the modern animal rights movement must implement a long-term strategy which advances animal issues as public policy, which is in addition to its present strategy promoting optional vegan, crueltyfree lifestyle choice.


Keywords


Advocacy; animal rights; industrial complex; lifestyle; moral crusade; otherness; policy; social movement; strategy; vegan

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2013-001-stal




Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196


Executive Editor: Matteo Andreozzi
Associate Editors: Rod Bennison - Alma Massaro - Kim Stallwood - Jessica Ulrich
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Matthew R. Calarco - Gabriele Cambiotti - Piergiorgio Donatelli - Arianna Ferrari - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Piergiacomo Pagano - Paola Sobbrio - Sabrina Tonutti