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Animals in Our Midst: The Challenges of Co-existing with Animals in the Anthropocene

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  • Open Access
  • © 2021

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  • The first book to systematically address the ethics of changing relations between humans and animals under Anthropocene conditions
  • The only book that takes animal agency as the starting point for this relation
  • Brings together scholars at the cutting edge of the fields of animal and environmental ethics to discuss the implications of the Anthropocene for human-animal relationships

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Table of contents (32 chapters)

  1. Animal Agents

  2. Domesticated Animals


About this book

This Open Access book brings together authoritative voices in animal and environmental ethics, who address the many different facets of changing human-animal relationships in the Anthropocene. As we are living in complex times, the issue of how to establish meaningful relationships with other animals under Anthropocene conditions needs to be approached from a multitude of angles. This book offers the reader insight into the different discussions that exist around the topics of how we should understand animal agency, how we could take animal agency seriously in farms, urban areas and the wild, and what technologies are appropriate and morally desirable to use regarding animals. This book is of interest to both  animal studies scholars and environmental ethics scholars, as well as to practitioners working with animals, such as wildlife managers, zookeepers, and conservation biologists.


“The authors of the book successfully dive into complex issues and illuminate novel corner posts of the relationships between us and them. … book provides an important and rewarding contribution broaden the discussions in animal ethics and animal welfare science … . After having read the Animals in Our Midst: The Challenges of Co-existing with Animals in the Anthropocene (2021), one is left … with a specific and useful tool for reflecting on some issues regarding animals in the Anthropocene.” (J. Karg and H. Grimm, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Vol. 35, 2022)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands

    Bernice Bovenkerk

  • Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

    Jozef Keulartz

About the editors

Bernice Bovenkerk is assistant professor of philosophy [from June 1, 2019 hopefully associate professor] at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Her research and teaching deal with issues in animal and environmental ethics, the ethics of climate change, and political philosophy. Current topics are the moral status of animals and other natural entities, with a particular focus on fish and insects; animal agency; the ethics of animal domestication; animal (dis)enhancement; animals in the wild; and deliberative democracy. 

She has obtained both a VENI and a VIDI innovative research grant from the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research. The VENI dealt with animal domestication, in particular discussions around the justification of animal captivity, and changing animals’ genomes. In particular, she did research on the ethics of pedigree dog breeding. The VIDI deals with animal agency under Anthropocene conditions.

Bernice received her PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia, on a dissertation titled The Biotechnology Debate. Democracy in the face of intractable disagreement. She received her Master’s title at the University of Amsterdam on a thesis titled Pluralism in Environmental Ethics. Together with Jozef Keulartz, she has edited the Springer volume Animal Ethic in the Age of Humans. Blurring boundaries in human-animal relationships. Her homepage is

Jozef Keulartz is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Philosophy at the Radboud University Nijmegen, and senior researcher Applied Philosophy at Wageningen University and Research Centre. He has published extensively in different areas of science and technology studies, social and political philosophy, bioethics, environmental ethics and nature policy. His books include Die verkehrte Welt des Jürgen Habermas [The Topsy-Turvy World of Jürgen Habermas, 1995] and Struggle for Nature—A Critique of Radical Ecology (1998). He is co-editor of
Pragmatist Ethics for a Technological Culture (Kluwer, 2002), Legitimacy in
European Nature Conservation Policy (Springer, 2008), New Visions of Nature
(Springer, 2009), Environmental Aesthetics. Crossing Divides and Breaking
Ground (Fordham University Press, 2014), and Old World and New World
Perspectives in Environmental Philosophy (Springer, 2014).   

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