Law is anthropocentric. With the limited exception of its treatment of the corporation, law is a system of rules that privileges the concept of the human and ascribes reality through a human perspective. Appreciating this, it is truly impressive that animal issues in the law have become so prominent throughout the legal education system. With this increased exposure to posthumanist critiques of the legal system and its status for and treatment of animals, an increasing number of those involved in legal education are rethinking the law’s species-based hierarchy that places humans at the apex. This flourishing interest in animal law is paralleled by growth in the field of Critical Animal Studies (CAS). However, these two disciplines have developed independently of each other. Acknowledging this, animal law scholarship is currently poised to incorporate the insights of CAS. Integrating such insight into the analysis of animal issues in the law will rectify the speciesist and otherwise exclusionary formulations of the socially constructed differences between various species, which have so far been unquestioned assumptions. CAS offers an understanding of these socially constructed differences and advances a common mission between issues identified as animal injustices and those identified as human injustices. CAS stresses the interconnection between human and animal issues, not simply parallels. This important synthesis can subvert the confinement of animal issues in the legal sphere and is key to extending these essential issues into a more diverse community.
Critical Animal Studies and Animal Law,
Animal L. Rev.
Available at: https://lawcommons.lclark.edu/alr/vol18/iss2/4