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From Animal Abuse to Interhuman Violence? A Critical Review of the Progression Thesis

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This paper reviews evidence of a progression from animal abuse to interhuman violence. It finds that the "progression thesis" is supported not by a coherent research program but by disparate studies often lacking methodological and conceptual clarity. Set in the context of a debate about the theoretical adequacy of concepts like "animal abuse" and "animal cruelty," it suggests that the link between animal abuse and interhuman violence should be sought not only in the personal biographies of those individuals who abuse animals but also in those institutionalized social practices where animal abuse is routine, widespread, and socially acceptable.


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