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"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
"Nik Taylor provides an accessible introduction to and critical discussion of key ideas, themes and debates within human–animal studies. By drawing on a diverse range of empirical studies she also illustrates the ambiguous, contested, and politicized nature of interspecies relations, contexts, and scholarship. This book is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on human–animal research within the social sciences." —Rhoda Wilkie, University of Aberdeen, UK
"An exciting and welcome addition to the growing human–animal studies field. Although written from a social science perspective, Humans, Animals, and Society has broad interdisciplinary coverage and appeal. The reader will benefit greatly from Taylor's own experiences as an ethnographic researcher who has examined human–animal relations is a variety of settings. Humans, Animals, and Society is ideally suited as a textbook for students and essential as a resource for HAS scholars." —Clifton P. Flynn, Chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Women's Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate, and author of Understanding Animal Abuse and Social Creatures
"Thoroughly recommended. Taylor's Humans, Animals, and Society provides a wonderful introduction to human–animal studies, covering so many ways in which nonhuman animals' lives are profoundly entwined in a shared social life. From animal abuse to animal protection, from seeing some animals as family and others as food, she explores the many contradictions in our relationships with other species." —Lynda Birke, Visiting Professor in Biological Sciences, University of Chester, UK
"Humans, Animals, and Society is a welcome addition to the literature in the growing field of human–animal studies. Combining research from across the disciplines and written in accessible language, it covers the full range of topics in human–animal interaction: the human–animal bond, social institutions and animals, representing animals, working with/for animals, human and animal directed violence, and protecting animals. It also includes a chapter on critical animal studies, outlining the challenges this more radical approach poses to the study of human–animal interaction. With suggestions for further reading, this book serves as a valuable resource for established scholars as well as students encountering the field for the first time." —Leslie Irvine, Associate Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder
"Humans, Animals, and Society provides a comprehensive, eloquent, and vibrant analysis of the myriad issues and concerns at the heart of contemporary scholarship in human–animal studies. Nik Taylor succinctly describes how many of our modern-day anthropocentric interactions with nonhuman animals are derived from outdated assumptions and biases about other species. At the same time she makes excellent use of popular culture and examples from everyday life to engage readers in her sharp analysis of human–animal interactions. The author’s respect for all the other animals we share this planet with is infectious, and her stance is ultimately optimistic: she advocates
convincingly for the need to connect cross-disciplinary compassionate scholarship with political activism in order to effect enduring positive changes in our relationships with
other species." —Annie Potts, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the New Zealand Centre for Human–Animal Studies at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
While 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.