THE WHIS­PERER

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall Email abox­hall@big­pond.com

WHAT goes on in an an­i­mal’s mind? Do they make plans, do they re­call cer­tain events? What emo­tions do they feel and what is the na­ture of the bonds they form with each other and with us?

Many sci­en­tists, philoso­phers, an­i­mal lovers and oth­ers in­ter­ested in these types of ques­tions also pon­der what rights an­i­mals should have.

As a vul­ner­a­ble and of­ten ex­ploited group, jus­tice for an­i­mals can seem a long way off.

A Cana­dian aca­demic speak­ing in Ho­bart next week pro­poses a new way to look at our obli­ga­tions to an­i­mals, shift­ing the de­bate from a moral per­spec­tive to a po­lit­i­cal one.

On­tario Pro­fes­sor Will Kym­licka’s lat­est book is called Zoopo­lis, a po­lit­i­cal the­ory of an­i­mal rights.

He di­vides an­i­mals into three cat­e­gories: do­mes­ti­cated an­i­mals, wild an­i­mals and “in- be­tween” an­i­mals – those who have adapted to life among peo­ple with­out be­ing un­der our di­rect care.

For each of these cat­e­gories, he ap­plies a dif­fer­ent form of po­lit­i­cal re­la­tion­ship.

Do­mes­ti­cated an­i­mals are cit­i­zens while wild an­i­mals have sovereignty with full right and power to live with­out in­ter­fer­ence from out­side sources.

The in- be­tween an­i­mals are wild but live in hu­man set­tle­ments and are res­i­dents of our so­ci­ety but not fully in­cluded as cit­i­zens.

As cit­i­zens, do­mes­ti­cated an­i­mals would lead dif­fer­ent lives than they do now and wild an­i­mals would have se­cure space.

This po­lit­i­cal way of cat­e­goris­ing an­i­mals is based on prin­ci­ples of jus­tice and com­pas­sion and con­nects the treat­ment of an­i­mals more di­rectly to prin­ci­ples of hu­man rights.

If it’s good enough for hu­mans, it’s good enough for non- hu­man an­i­mals.

If you wouldn’t do it to a hu­man, don’t do it to an an­i­mal.

Pro­fes­sor Kym­licka will be speak­ing about an­i­mal ad­vo­cacy and is­sues of democ­racy and di­ver­sity at a free pub­lic lec­ture to be held on Mon­day, Au­gust 11, from 5pm to 6pm, level 2, Ge­og­ra­phy Build­ing at UTAS, Sandy Bay Cam­pus.

For more in­for­ma­tion phone 6226 2348

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