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Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies

A Historical Collection


Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II and Amber E. George

Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection represents the very best that the internationally scholarly Journal for Critical Animal Studies (JCAS) has published in terms of articles that are written by public critical scholar-activists-organizers for public critical scholar-activists-organizers. This move toward publishing pieces about engaging social change, rather than high-theoretical detached analysis of nonhuman animals in society, is to regain focus for liberation at all costs. The essays in this collection focus on intersectionality scholarship within the realm of Critical Animal Studies, and discuss issues related to race, gender, disability, class, and queerness. Not only are these articles historically significant within the field of Critical Animal Studies, but they are integral to the overall social justice movement. Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection should be read by anyone interested in the Critical Animal Studies field, as we consider them to be classic writings that should be respected as foundational texts. There are many interesting and innovative texts, but these are historical, not only because they were published in JCAS, but because they were among the first to publish on a particular intersectional issue.

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Chapter Sixteen: Yoruba Ethico-cultural Perspectives and Understanding of Animal Ethics (A. O. Owoseni / I. O. Olatoye)


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Yoruba Ethico-cultural Perspectives and Understanding of Animal Ethics



Animal Ethics: Between Animal Rights and Animal Welfare

The need to contextualize “globalized” discourse within historical or cultural particularities to assess the universality of principles, theories, and practices cannot be overemphasized. This article explores cultural particularities often taken for granted in assessing human–nonhuman animal relations, using an inquiry into the Yoruba understanding of animal ethics as a case study. Following the “reflective impulse” of the Yoruba notion of human–animal relations, our study departs from the prevailing framework of animal ethics as currently pursued in intellectual circles. Despite a tendency to pose the Western intellectual perspective as a yardstick, we assert the need to include other cultural perspectives in the discourse of animal rights and animal welfare. Many non-Western perspectives do not align wholly with Western viewpoints, and accordingly, many non-Western ethico-cultural perspectives have not yet been acknowledged. In the case of the Yoruba, the central question of this article—whether the Yoruba have an understanding of animal ethics—differs from the question of whether the Yoruba conceptualize animal ethics in its own right. Focusing on the latter question implies that the Yoruba might hold a distinct system of animal ethics that sets them apart from the rest of humanity.1 Such a stance would create intellectual bifurcations that could ← 291 | 292 → obscure a common outlook, generating an us/them...

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