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A hostile world for nonhuman animals: human identification and the oppression of nonhuman animals for human good

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In 2006 over three million experiments were performed on nonhuman animals. In making an argument against such experiments I contend that approval of nonhuman animal experimentation is rooted in acceptance of humans as having essential primacy over nonhuman animals and lies in the power relations associated with human primacy identity claims. To challenge essentialist notions of human identity and human primacy I utilize a performative conceptualization of identity. Discourses used by Pro-Test, a lobby group that promotes nonhuman animal experimentation, allows an exploration of justifications made for such experiments. In promoting these experiments Pro-Test is, I argue, engaging in a form of human primacy identity politics based in continued inequality and the sustained oppression of nonhuman animals. I conclude that discourses extolling scientific advancements for human benefits, made on the basis of experiments on nonhuman animals, reiterate an immoral human primacy identity that dissolutely exploits power relations to privilege the human.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-102
Number of pages18
JournalSociology
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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