Whereas animals have played a central part in human society over the years, when it comes to the social sciences they have largely been neglected. However, interest in Human & Animal Studies (HAS) has grown exponentially in recent years, giving rise to university and college courses around the world specifically on this compelling and vital subject.
Considering topics ranging from the human & animal bond, meat eating, and animals in entertainment, this book presents key concepts in simple and easy-to-understand ways as it covers the breadth of empirical work currently being done in the field. Through an examination of ideas such as anthropocentrism and the social construction of animals, it looks at how animals are symbolically transformed, presented, and re-presented as part of human culture. Ultimately, the book argues that there is nothing “natural” about our social relations with animals, but that animals are made use of and understood through a human lens.
Humans, Animals, and Society spans the diverse interests of the HAS community and is necessary reading for students and the general public looking to better understand our relationship with animals.
“Humans, Animals, and Society is a timely and welcome addition to the rapidly growing human animal studies library. Much of the literature comprising this field is cerebral and esoteric, which limits its reach into the public’s consciousness. With current examples, thoughtful analysis, and a sympathetic voice, Nik Taylor provides a reader-friendly, up-to-date overview of the rapidly evolving human animal relationship. I highly recommend this book to any reader interested in the field, as well as to course instructors seeking an accessible, up-to-date introduction.”—Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D., Animal Studies Department Chair, Humane Society University, and author of The Exultant Ark
“A timely and incisive examination of current key debates in human animal studies. With its clear thematic structure, Humans, Animals, and Society deftly steers the reader through a range of complex questions about human animal relations. Written in an accessible style, it is essential reading for those seeking an introduction to HAS. For those familiar with the subject area, this book is an invaluable survey of scholarly work in the field.”—Claire Molloy, Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media, Edge Hill University, UK
“Nik Taylor’s Humans, Animals, and Society is a much-needed, state-of-the-art overview of the emerging field of human animal studies. Covering such diverse topics as animal assisted therapy, the moral emotions of slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians, the portrayal of animals in movies, the link between animal abuse and human violence, and the moral obligations of scholars, this is an accessible yet intellectually rigorous introduction to the study of human animal interactions. Taylor’s book will appeal to scholars and students, and anyone fascinated by the relationships between people and animals.”—Hal Herzog, Professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University, and author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat