Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 171–186 | Cite as

Animal rights as a new environmental cosmology

  • Anne Sutherland
  • Jeffrey E. Nash


The secularization and modernization of society have created opportunities for broad interpretations of fundamental questions of life. The Animal Rights Movement (ARM) challenges Judeo-Christian cosmology and offers an alternative. ARM redefines the distinctions between humans and animals and gives them a new meaning within the generalized environmental other. As an emerging cosmology, it functions to give believers a means of dealing with questions of order and chaos, suffering, good and evil, and justice. It also creates a community of people who seek redemption through saving animals. The Animal Rights Movement goes beyond moral protest and takes on the role of a religious cosmology.


Social Psychology Social Issue Fundamental Question Cross Cultural Psychology Broad Interpretation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Douglas, M. 1970.Natural Symbols, Explorations in Cosmology. London: Cresset Press.Google Scholar
  2. Geertz, C. 1973. “Religion as a cultural system” inThe Interpretation of Culture. New York: Harpers.Google Scholar
  3. Hickrod, L. H. H. and Schmitt, R. L. 1982. “A Naturalistic Study of Interaction and Frame: The Pet as ‘Family Member.”Urban Life: A Journal of Ethnographic Research 11:55–77.Google Scholar
  4. Leach, E. 1969.Genesis as Myth and other Essays. London: Jonathan Cape editions.Google Scholar
  5. Fine, G. A. and L. Christoforides. 1991. “Dirty Birds, Filthy Immigrants and the English Sparrow War: Metaphorical Linkage in Constructing Social Problems.”Symbolic Interaction 14(4): 375–393.Google Scholar
  6. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science (March 1990, Vol. 13, No. 1, Cambridge University press).Google Scholar
  7. Jacobs, J. 1971 “From sacred to secular: The rationalization of Christian ideology.”Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 10:1–9.Google Scholar
  8. Jamison, W. and W. Lunch. 1990. “A Preliminary Report: Results from Demographic, Attitudinal, and Behavioral Analysis of the Animal Rights Movement.” Oregon State University.Google Scholar
  9. Jasper, J. M. and D. Nelkin. 1992.The Animal Rights Crusade: The Growth of a Moral Movement. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  10. Kellert, Stephen R. 1988 “Human-Animal Interactions: A review of American Attitudes to Wild and Domestic Animals in the Twentieth Century” Pp. 140–141 in Andrew N. Rowan (ed.)Animals and People Sharing the World. Hanover: University Press of New England.Google Scholar
  11. Nash, J. E. 1989 “What's in a Face? The Social Character of the English Bulldog.”Qualitative Sociology 12(4): 357–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Nash, J. E. and A. Sutherland. 1991. “The Moral Elevation of Animals: The Case of Gorillas in the Mist.”International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 5 (1): 111–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Regan, T. 1983.The Case for Animal Rights. Berkeley: The University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. Rowan, A. N. 1988. “The Power of Animal symbols and Its Implications” inAnimals and People Sharing the World. Hanover and London: University Press of New England.Google Scholar
  15. Ryder, R. D. 1989.Animal Revolution: Changing Attitudes Towards Speciesism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  16. Serpell, James. 1986.In the Company of Animals. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. Singer, P. 1975.Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals. New York: Avon Books.Google Scholar
  18. Swidler, A. 1986. “Culture in Action”American Sociological Review Vol. 51 (April): 273–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Tapper, R. 1988. “Animality, Humanity, Morality, Society,” inWhat is an Animal? edited by T. Ingold. London: Unwin Hyman Ltd.Google Scholar
  20. Tester, K. 1991.Animals and Society: The Humanity of Animal Rights. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Turner, B. (ed.) 1990.Theories of Modernity and Postmodernity. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  22. Weigert, A. J. 1991. “Transverse Interaction: A Pragmatic Perspective on Environment as Other.”Symbolic Interaction 14(3):353–363.Google Scholar
  23. Wexler, P. 1990. “Citizenship in the Semiotic Society.” inTheories of Modernity and Postmodernity. Sage: Newbury Park, California.Google Scholar
  24. Wood, M. and L. A. Zurcher, Jr.The Development of a Postmodern Self: A Computer-Assisted Comparative Analysis of Personal Documents. Greenwood Press: New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Sutherland
    • 1
  • Jeffrey E. Nash
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyMacalester CollegeSt. Paul

Personalised recommendations