Nonhuman animal suffering: critical pedagogy and practical animal ethics

Kay Peggs, Barry Smart

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Each year millions of nonhuman animals are exposed to suffering at the hands of humans. A great deal of the suffering occurs in university institutions as nonhuman animals are routinely (ab)used in teaching and research in the natural sciences. Drawing on the work of Giroux and Derrida respectively this paper makes the case for a critical pedagogy of nonhuman animal suffering. The paper discusses critical pedagogy as an increasingly underrepresented form of teaching in university institutions, considers suffering as a concept and explores the pedagogy of suffering. The discussion focuses on the use of nonhuman animal subjects in universities, in particular in teaching, scientific research, and associated experiments. The views of a range of analysts who have contributed to the debate on critical pedagogy and/or nonhuman animal suffering are considered. The paper concludes that a critical pedagogy of nonhuman animal suffering has the capacity to contribute significantly to the constitution of a practical animal ethics conducive to the constitution of a radically different form of social life that is able to promote a more just and non-speciesist future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-198
Number of pages18
JournalSociety and Animals: Journal of Human-Animal Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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