“The Rights of Whatever Can Suffer”: Reconciling Liberalism and Dependence

in The Rights of the Defenseless

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780226652016
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226652023 | DOI:
“The Rights of Whatever Can Suffer”: Reconciling Liberalism and Dependence

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This chapter focuses on child and animal protectionists' use of the concept of liberalism and dependence as the underlying principles of their work. It discusses the opinion of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) founder Henry Bergh that animals and children had rights just as former slaves did. This chapter also highlights the efforts of the anticruelty movement to reconcile a liberal language of rights with the persistent hierarchies that characterized human-animal and household relations and their hope that a sentimental emphasis on suffering would work to incorporate animals into the liberal logic of rights.

Keywords: child protection; animal protection; liberalism; dependence; ASPCA; Henry Bergh; rights; suffering; anticruelty movement

Chapter.  15698 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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