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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Most contemporary theories of animal ethics fail to respond to and incorporate the expressed viewpoint of animals in their analyses. Feminist care theory, by contrast, holds that the standpoint of animals must be at the heart of any theorizing about their treatment. We humans must listen to what animals are telling us and formulate our ethical responses accordingly. Major authorities on animal behavior, from Darwin and von Uexküll to contemporary cognitive ethologists, have established that through caring and sympathetic attention and interspecies dialogue animal communications can be readily understood. Feminist care theory contends that we are ethically obliged to heed those communications and to act responsively. We should not harm, kill, eat, torture, and exploit animals because they do not wish to be so treated.

Keywords: animal studies, feminist care theory, animal ethics, standpoint, interspecies dialogue

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