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Contesting Moral Capital in Campaigns Against Animal Liberation

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This article addresses a countermovement to the animal liberation movement and its campaigns against vivisection, factory farming, and recreational hunting in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. As moderate welfarists, pragmatic animal liberationists (Singer 1975), and radical abolitionists who advocate animal rights, animal protectionists campaign for animals. The countermovement defends acts that animal protectionists decry. Meanwhile, sociologists accord little study to interplay between the movements (Meyer & Staggenborg, 1996). In Buechler's and Cylke's collection of 34 papers on social movements (1997), only one paper focused on countermovements, describing the connection between social movement and countermovement as "a continuous dialect of social change" (Mottl, 1980). Although extensive writings exist on the main campaigns of the animal liberation movement, little scholarly material exists on the defenses mounted by the countermovement. This article examines key elements of a values war, a struggle over moral capital waged by animal protectionists and their countermovement opponents.



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