Speaking of Animals

  • Philip J. SampsonEmail author
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series book series (PMAES)


The human use of animals generates ethical debates which draw on the range of linguistic resources available in the prevailing culture. These resources facilitate the expression of a particular field of ethical choices, but make it difficult to publicly move outside this domain. For example, discussion about how we should treat ‘pets’ draws upon a language usually reserved for humans, especially children within families. Such language makes it natural to claim that beating or starving Fido is cruel, and that cruelty is ethically reprehensible. Despite the many similarities between ‘pets’ and food animals, most people segregate this language from that used of pigs and chickens. The discourse of ‘food’ animals authorises a range of moral choices which would be ‘cruel’, even illegal, in the case of ‘pets’.


Linguistic Resources Animals Turn boundaryBoundary Human Keepers Sunday Lunch 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adams, Carol J. 2010. The Sexual Politics of Meat. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  2. Attfield, Robin. 1983. “Christian Attitudes to Nature.” Journal of the History of Ideas 44 (3) (July–September): 369–386.Google Scholar
  3. Bernstein, Basil B. 2003. Class, Codes and Control. Vol. 1. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Berry, Evan. 2015. Devoted to Nature: The Religious Roots of American Environmentalism. San Francisco: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Derrida, Jacques. 2001. Writing and Difference. Translated by Alan Bass. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Derrida, Jacques. 2002. “The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow).” Translated by David Wills. Critical Inquiry 28 (2): 369–418.Google Scholar
  7. Dooyeweerd, Herman. 1969. A New Critique of Theoretical Thought. Translated by David H. Freeman and William S. Young. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing. Google Scholar
  8. Franklin, Adrian. 1999. Animals and Modern Culture: A Sociology of Human-Animal Relations in Modernity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Harwood, Dix. 1928. Love for Animals and How It Developed in Great Britain. New York: Colombia University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Johnson, Lisa. 2017. “On the Suffering of Animals in Nature.” Journal of Animal Ethics 7 (1) (Spring): 63–77.Google Scholar
  11. Kuhn, Thomas S. 1993. “Metaphor in Science.” In Metaphor and Thought, edited by Andrew Ortony, 534–542. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Linzey, Andrew, and Clare Linzey. 2017. “The ‘It’ in Our Midst.” Journal of Animal Ethics 7 (1) (Spring): v–vi.Google Scholar
  13. Linzey, Andrew, and Priscilla Cohn. 2011. “Terms of Discourse.” Journal of Animal Ethics 1 (1) (Spring): vii–ix.Google Scholar
  14. Maasen, Sabine, and Peter Weingart. 2013. Metaphors and the Dynamics of Knowledge. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Masson, Jeffrey. 2009. The Face on Your Plate. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  16. Pollan, Michael. 2002. “An Animal’s Place.” New York Times Magazine, November 10.
  17. Ryder, Richard D. 1983. Victims of ScienceThe Use of Animals in Research. London: National Anti-Vivisection Society.Google Scholar
  18. Selly, Patty Born. 2014. Connecting Animals and Children in Early Childhood. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.Google Scholar
  19. Stoll, Mark. 1997. Protestantism, Capitalism, and Nature in America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  20. Thomas, Keith. 1984. Man and the Natural World. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  21. Wilkie, Rhoda M. 2010. Livestock/Deadstock. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford Centre for Animal EthicsOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations