Animal Studies Bibliography

Macy, Phyllis. 1990. Research with animals and the new zeitgeist. American Psychologist 45(11): 1269-1270.

The history of animal activism is perhaps most interesting for the fact that, although it waxes and wanes, it never goes away entirely. One explanation for the start of the movement is that it came out of 1960s social justice movements and is a continuation of the process that worked to extend rights to women and African Americans. These movements differ, however, in that animals cannot fight for themselves. The important root of the movement is instead probably the environmental movement, which led to the 1970s' save the whales campaigns and increased awareness of animal intelligence, particularly in whales, dolphins, and primates. Environmentalism helped create a new ethic: to respect, preserve, and possibly save our planet from extinction (1270). Similarly, what animal activism wants is not to eliminate all animal research, but to change the way we think about using animals. Psychological research has demonstrated that we can be induced to be very cruel to other humans when it is socially acceptable behavior. Animal abuse is just that, and animal activists want to change that attitude--to make us think carefully about our use of animals. Such reflection will lead us to restrict animal use to crucial research, avoiding unnecessary and meaningless work and the suffering it imposes on animals.



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