Animal Law Review

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Using a feminist theoretical perspective and drawing on exam­ples from Canada and the United States, this Article considers the promises and pitfalls of language and narrative in the con­text of animal advocacy efforts. Because the animal advocacy movement faces an uphill battle on a number of fronts, leverag­ing language and narrative more conscientiously can help en­hance its success. Elucidating the equivocal nature of the premises on which our current social and legal conceptualiza­tion of nonhuman animals lies can prompt a shift in the domi­nant modes of thjnking about nonhuman animals, thereby stimulating meaningful change in their treatment. However, it is not only the message that matters, but also how that mes­sage is conveyed. Narratives offer a potentially more compas­sionate, less antagonistic way of drawing attention to nonhuman animal sufferi.ng in order to trigger an interruption in established ways of thinking that posit that nonhuman ani­mals are outside of the realm of moral considerability and, therefore, outside the bounds of legal protection.

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