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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents some concluding thoughts on Theorizing Animals: Re-thinking Humanimal Relations. Any field that grapples with animal ethics can benefit from a stronger nexus with ethology (and vice versa), especially in the current era when ethology is bringing to light animal capacities that would once have been thought the stuff of fantasy. It is still commonly believed, for instance, that only humans have culture. In fact, many other species are now known to have culture— as defined by practices idiosyncratic to populations, and are not genetically inherited but passed on behaviorally such as by learning and/or teaching. Notwithstanding the urgency of curbing animal consumption, adopting a more respectful, egalitarian relationship to animals is also imperative because doing so is profoundly right and not doing so is profoundly unjust. This has to do with sentience, which is the root of moral systems.

Keywords:animal ethics; humanimal relations; sentience



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