By Siobhan O’Sullivan (auth.)
Animals, Equality and Democracy examines the constitution of animal defense laws and unearths that it's deeply inequitable, with an inclination to favour these animals the group is probably to determine and have interaction with. Siobhan O'Sullivan argues that those inequities violate primary precept of justice and transparency.
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Additional info for Animals, Equality and Democracy
This in turn allows us to clarify how those inconsistencies offend liberal democratic principles of fairness and impartiality. The second step is to consider various explanations for animal welfare inconsistencies. The most commonly provided explanation is the link between the routine economic use of animals and animal suffering. That relationship is often referred to as ‘necessary suffering’. Implied in that term is the belief that law-makers are more willing to curtail animal suffering in cases where the economic advantage generated by the suffering is minimal, but less likely to prohibit animal suffering in cases where the suffering is linked to highly proﬁtable economic activity.
The internal inconsistency is achieved in various ways, some of which have already been alluded to. In the ﬁrst instance inconsistencies occur due to the practice of creating protective legislation for animals generally and then exempting certain categories of animals from speciﬁc protective provisions. In Australia, just like in the United States, animal protection is primarily a state responsibility, so there are numerous pieces of animal protection legislation, at least one for each state. New South Wales’ principal animal protection statutory instrument is the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
They are: the property status attributed The Politics of Being a Nonhuman Animal 39 to nonhuman animals at law; the economic functionality of that property status; and the concept of necessary suffering. All three notions are closely interconnected, and have been the subject of extensive description and analysis by pro-animal theorists. The legal property status attributed to nonhuman animals has been a central concern of legal theorists for the last couple of decades. As part of their critique, these theorists have tended to emphasise the way the law perceives of animals as legal objects while deeming humans to be legal subjects.