Rationale for the Journal of Animal Ethics

Journal of Animal Ethics

The Journal of Animal Ethics aims to put animals on the intellectual agenda and to stimulate discussion within academic and professional institutions.

Over the last 40 years, there has been a growing interest in the ethics of our treatment of animals. Philosophers have led the way, and now a range of other scholars have followed from historians to social scientists. From being a marginal issue, animals have become an emerging issue in ethics and in multidisciplinary inquiry.

In addition, a rethink of the status of animals has been fuelled by a range of scientific investigations which have revealed the complexity of animal sentiency, cognition and awareness. The ethical implications of this new knowledge have yet to be properly evaluated, but it is becoming clear that the old view that animals are things, tools, machines or commodities cannot be sustained ethically.

But it is not only philosophy and science that are putting animals on the agenda. Increasingly, in Europe and the United States, animals are becoming a political issue as political parties vie for the ‘green’ and ‘animal’ vote. In turn, political scientists are beginning to look again at the history of political thought in relation to animals, and historians are beginning to revisit the political history of animal protection.

There is a steady growth of academic courses in animal-related subjects, as well as university posts, including Critical Animal Studies, Animal Welfare, Animal Law, Animals and Philosophy, Human-Animal Studies, Politics and Animals, Animals and Religion – tangible signs that a new academic discipline is emerging. The Journal of Animal Ethics is a new journal for this emerging field of inquiry.



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