The Ethics of Captivity

The Ethics of Captivity

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In the United States roughly 2 million people are incarcerated; billions of animals are held captive (and then killed) in the food industry every year; hundreds of thousands of animals are kept in laboratories; thousands are in zoos and aquaria; millions of "pets" are captive in our homes. Surprisingly, despite the rich ethical questions it raises, very little philosophical attention has been paid to questions raised by captivity.

Though conditions of captivity vary widely for humans and for other animals, there are common ethical themes that imprisonment raises, including the value of liberty, the nature of autonomy, the meaning of dignity, and the impact of routine confinement on physical and psychological well-being. This volume brings together scholars, scientists, and sanctuary workers to address in fifteen new essays the ethical issues captivity raises. Section One contains chapters written by those with expert
knowledge about particular conditions of captivity and includes discussion of how captivity is experienced by dogs, whales and dolphins, elephants, chimpanzees, rabbits, formerly farmed animals, and human prisoners. Section Two contains chapters by philosophers and social theorists that reflect on the
social, political, and ethical issues raised by captivity, including discussions about confinement, domestication, captive breeding for conservation, the work of moral repair, dignity and an ethics of sight, and the role that coercion plays.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 158 x 235 x 19mm | 426g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 12 illus.
  • 019997800X
  • 9780199978007
  • 872,475

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ; Contributors ; Introduction - Lori Gruen ; Section One ; 1. "Canis Familiaris: Companion and Captive" - Alexandra Horowitz ; 2. "Cetacean Captivity" - Lori Marino ; 3. "Captive Elephants" - Catherine Doyle ; 4. "Captive Chimpanzees" - Stephen R. Ross ; 5. "Rabbits in Captivity" - Margo DeMello ; 6. "Captivity in the Context of a Sanctuary for Formerly Farmed Animals" - Miriam Jones ; 7. "Life Behind Bars" - John Bryant, James Davis, David Haywood, Clyde Meikle, Andre Pierce ; 8. "Political Captivity" - Lauren Gazzola ; Section Two ; 9. "For their Own Good: Captive Cats and Routine Confinement"- Clare Palmer and Peter Sandoe ; 10. "Born in Chains? The Ethics of Domestication" - Alasdair Cochrane ; 11. "The Confinement of Laboratory Animals: Ethical and Conceptual Issues" - Robert Strieffer ; 12. "Captive for Life: Conserving Extinct Species through Ex Situ Breeding" - Irus Braveman ; 13. "Sanctuary, Not Remedy: The Problem of Captivity and the Need for Moral Repair" - Karen S. Emmerman ; 14. "Dignity, Captivity, and an Ethics of Sight" - Lori Gruen ; 15. "Captivity and Coercion" - Lisa Rivera ; Index
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Review quote

Combining heartfelt but sober descriptions of the captivity experiences of several animal species (including elephants and chimpanzees) and of human prisoners with examinations of the ethical problems captivity raises, these essays significantly challenge a range of practices that most people take for granted This collection has much to offer ... recommended. * Choice * The book's manifold perspectives deliver a valuably intricate understanding of the nuanced inflections we might consider when we assess and deliberate the ethics of captivity ... generally intelligent and useful ... * Journal of Animal Ethics *
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About Lori Gruen

Lori Gruen is Professor of Philosophy, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University where she also coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies and directs the Ethics in Society Project. She is the author, most recently, of Ethics and Animals (2011) and co-editor with Carol Adams of Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth (2014).
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