Sociologists, criminologists, social workers, psychologists, legal scholars, feminists, and others are recognizing the myriad reasons that animal abuse is worthy of serious scholarly focus.
Rowan Blogg is an Australian veterinarian of the highest distinction and I greatly admire his professionalism, which I observed for years at close range.
In Any Kind of Danger he has extended his work into the environment and moral philosophy by tackling the complex issue of how we exploit animals. In the 19th Century William Wilberforce and other pioneers argued that our treatment of animals is a measure of our humanity. Peter Singers Animal Liberation (1975) stimulated international interest in the subject. Dr Bloggs book should do the same.
Rowan Blogg examines the role of wildlife on the planet, millions of years before our species became dominant, but how much habitat do we reserve for their natural life? How many species are under threat?
The worlds population will stabilise at about nine billion in 2050 and this raises the fundamental issues of how much land, water and energy we will devote to raising animals for food. Is grazing an efficient or humane way of feeding our species?
Industrial farming out of sight and out of mind involves inescapable cruelty. Chickens are raised on an A4 size of smaller scratching area, confined in multi-layered cages.
Do animals have a right of access to sunlight and paddock for at least the great part of their lives? How does a cow giving birth cope with a crowded cattle truck?
Do we turn our eyes away from the inevitable suffering involved in animal transport, especially life sheep exports?
There are profound moral lessons to be learned from observing how we treat animals and yet the issue will not be on the agenda for the next Federal or State elections.
We are in Dr Bloggs debt for this thoughtful, passionate book.
-Barry Jones, AO, FAA, FAHA. FTSE, FASSA
Australian Minister for Science 1983-90
It is from the perspective of ‘the animal question’ – asking how best to think and live with animals – that Animals in the Anthropocene seeks to interrogate the Anthropocene as a concept, discourse, and state of affairs. The term Anthropocene is a useful device for drawing attention to the devastations wreaked by anthropocentrism and advancing a relational model for human and non-human life. The effects on animals of human political and economic systems continue to expand and intensify, in numerous domains and in ways that not only cause suffering and loss but that also produce new forms of life and alter the very nature of species. As anthropogenic change affects the more-than-human world in innumerable ways, we must accept responsibility for the damage we have caused, and the debt we owe to non-human species.
Yet despite this increased interest, the policy process remains poorly understood. Animal Welfare in Australia is the first Australian book to examine the topic in a systematic manner. Without taking a specific ethical position, Chen draws on a wide range of sources – including activists, industry representatives and policy makers – to explain how policy is made and implemented. He explores the history of animal welfare in Australia, examines public opinion and media coverage of key issues, and comprehensively maps the policy domain. He shows how diverse social, ethical and economic interests interact to produce a complex and unpredictable climate.
Animal Welfare in Australia will be of interest to scholars and practitioners of public policy, those interested in issues of animal welfare, and anyone wishing to understand how competing interests interact in the contemporary Australian policy landscape.
Through photographs and illustrations, Peta Tait presents an extraordinary survey of 140 years of trapeze acts and the socially changing ideas of muscular action in relation to our understanding of gender and sexuality. She questions how spectators see and enjoy aerial actions, and what cultural identities are presented by bodies in fast, physical aerial movement.
Adeptly locating aerial performance within the wider cultural history of bodies and their identities, Circus Bodies explores this subject through a range of films such as Trapeze (1956) and Wings of Desire (1987) and Tait also examines live performances including:
* the first trapeze performers: Léotard and the Hanlon Brothers
* female celebrities; Azella, Sanyeah, black French aerialist LaLa, the infamous Leona Dare, and the female human cannonballs
* twentieth-century gender benders; Barbette and Luisita Leers
* the Codonas, Concellos, Gaonas, Vazquez and Pages troupes
* imaginative aerial acts in Cirque de Soleil and Circus Oz productions.
This book will prove an invaluable resource for all students and scholars interested in this fascinating field.