Skip to main content

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Animal Rights

Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Animal Rights

Political and Social Change in Britain since 1800

In the late twentieth century animals are news. Parliamentary debates, protests against fox hunting and television programs like AnimalHospital all focus on the way in which we treat animals and on what that says about our own humanity. As vegetarianism becomes ever more popular, and animal experimentation more controversial, it is time to trace the background to contemporary debates and to situate them in a broader historical context.

Hilda Kean looks at the cultural and social role of animals from 1800 to the present – at the way in which visual images and myths captured the popular imagination and encouraged sympathy for animals and outrage at their exploitation. From early campaigns against the beating of cattle and ill-treatment of horses to concern for dogs in war and cats in laboratories, she explores the relationship between popular images and public debate and action. She also illustrates how interest in animal rights and welfare was closely aligned with campaigns for political and social reform by feminists, radicals and socialists.

"A thoughtful, effective and well-written book"—The Scotsman

"It could hardly be more timely, and its wonderful material is bound to provoke ... reflection"—The Independent

"A work of great interest"—Sunday Telegraph

"Lively, impressively researched, and well-written ... a book that is timely and valuable"—Times Literary Supplement

"A pleasing balance of anecdote and analysis"—Times Higher Educational Supplement

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

272 pages

Culture Studies

Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books

Table of Contents

1. Radicals, Methodists and the law for animals in the streets
2. Sight, spectacle and education: from Regent’s Park zoo to Smithfield cattle market
3. Continuity and change: fallen dogs and Victorian tales
4. Bringing light into dark places: anti-vivisection and the animals of the home
5. Dead animals: spectacle and food
6. New century: new campaigns
7. Greyfriars Bobby and Black Beauty go to war
8. A meeting of the country and the town
9. Continuing cruelty: unconcluded campaigns
Select Bibliography

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press