Historical Social Research

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Tine Stein: Human Rights and Animal Rights: Differences Matter [Abstract]

This critique of Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka’s important book, Zoopolis, asks in what respect humans and animals categorically differ and to what extent this difference counts in a moral sense. Second, the text explains why it is illegitimate to equate human victims of racial discrimination and murder with tormented and killed animals. Finally, it is demonstrated why the conceptual analogies to animals presented in this book, namely ‘co-citizens’ as a term for animals that live in companionship with humans, ‘denizens’ for those animals that cross borders between human and natural living spaces, and ‘sovereign nations’ for wild animals, have to be interpreted as overstretched analogies. The main thesis is that the promise of the book – to develop a political theory of animals’ rights – remains unfulfilled.

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