The Save Movement and Farmed Animal Suffering: The Advocacy Benefits of Bearing Witness as a Template for Law

Date

2019

Authors

Deckha, Maneesha

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Publisher

Faculty of Law of Thompson Rivers University

Abstract

This paper critically analyzes the practices and legal regulation of the growing global phenomenon of the Save Movement, a (human) social movement directed at bearing witness to and raising awareness of the suffering of animals brutalized in intensive farming. Save activists typically hold vigils as animals are transported from the warehouses in which they were raised to their deaths in a slaughterhouse. Through the lens of feminist relational theory and critical animal legal studies, the paper considers the benefits of the Save Movement for farmed animals as well as the capacity of the law to participate in the act of bearing witness to farmed animal suffering that the movement advocates. I argue that bearing witness is not only a productive activity for animal advocates to engage in, but also serves as a model for how the law can respond to animals. Put differently, I argue that the law should strive to bear witness to animal suffering, and that this subversive and partly socially subjectifying move for animals can occur even in the present anthropocentric legal culture where animals are legal property and clearly non-subjects.

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Citation

Maneesha Deckha, “The Save Movement and Farmed Animal Suffering: The Advocacy Benefits of Bearing Witness as a Template for Law” (2019) 5 Can J Comparative & Contemporary L 77.