A. and C. Linzey, eds., The Palgrave Handbook of Practical
Animal Ethics. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. Pp. xxvi, 598.
Hb. Â£129.99. ISBN 978-1-137-36670-2.
A. and C. Linzey, eds., The Routledge Handbook of Religion and
Animal Ethics. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2019. Pp. xx, 389.
Hb. Â£175. ISBN 978-1-138-59272-8.
K. R. Valpey, Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics. Cham, Switzerland:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2020. Pp. xxx, 269. Hb. Â£20. ISBN 978-3-030-28407-7.
One sign of the maturity of the discipline of animal studies and religion
is increasing interest from publishers in volumes that map the field for
the benefit of neophytes. Andrew Linzey is making a significant contribution to the production of new work in this field, co-editing these
two handbooks with Clair Linzey, and co-editing with Priscilla Cohn a
Palgrave Macmillan series on animal ethics, of which Kenneth Valpeyâ€™s
book is the most recent title. Both the handbooks are identified in
the introductions by the editors as projects of the Oxford Centre for
Animal Ethics, and most of the contributors are subscribing fellows of
The introduction to the Linzeysâ€™ Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal
Ethics makes clear that the editors understand â€˜animal ethicsâ€™ to denote
a discipline with particular commitments. The first of these are negative.
As understood by the editors, animal ethics rejects first, â€˜moral anthropocentrismâ€™ â€“ â€˜the assumption that human needs, wants, or desires
should have absolute or near-absolute priority in our moral calculationsâ€™;
second, â€˜instrumentalismâ€™ â€“ â€˜the assumption that animals exist for human
beings, to serve their interests and wantsâ€™; and third, â€˜reductionismâ€™ â€“
â€˜the way in which our moral obligations to animals are reduced to other
(non-moral) terms or subsumed under other categoriesâ€™ (pp. 5â€“9).
Positively, the editors understand animal ethics as committed to the
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