Crimes Against Animals

Kenna Quinet

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online July 2012 | | DOI:
Crimes Against Animals

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Why has crime toward animals played a relatively small role in criminology? Why are there no measures of crimes against animals in the Uniform Crime Report? Why is animal abuse rarely a stand-alone dependent variable in criminology? Criminological attention has been paid to one dimension of animal abuse, and much of this work is based on various aspects of a “violence graduation hypothesis” and focused on whether people who abuse animals are more likely to go on to be violent toward humans. This focus, that we should study animal abuse because it might be related to interpersonal violence against humans rather than because violence toward animals is worthy of criminological attention on its own merit, is in itself a speciesist view. There are myriad other important issues overlapping with mainstream criminological inquiry including defining and measuring animal cruelty, animals’ status as property, animals as crime victims, the use of animals in prison-based and other therapeutic programs, and the criminalization of animal advocacy as terrorism. This bibliography includes work in criminal justice and criminology journals on these aspects of animal abuse and also includes animal abuse-related topics and work from other disciplines including the humanities and social sciences, veterinary science, law, philosophy, and animal welfare advocates. Issues of animal rights, abuse, and welfare include law and policy, theoretical paradigms to explain animal abuse, issues concerning the definition of animal abuse, and philosophical discussions of rights and specifically animal rights and speciesism within the context of discussions of other “isms” (e.g., racism, sexism, capitalism). Traditional criminological definitions of abuse are expanded to include discussions of other less traditional notions of abuse including animals in zoos, animals as entertainment, animals used for scientific experimentation, and animals as food. There is debate within the animal cruelty literature: some writings advocate for animal welfare—to limit but not necessarily end animal suffering, while others advocate for a stronger and often more controversial animal rights perspective that calls for full rights for animals and the abolition of meat, hunting, experimentation, and animals as entertainment. Also included in this review are the commonalities with broader issues of green criminology and crimes against animals. The literature cited in this article is intended to reflect many of the primary perspectives and research of the international community over the last thirty-five years, leaning more heavily on more recent studies by leading scholars in the field as they contain summaries of previous work.

Article.  9070 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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