HUMANS, ANIMALS, AND SOCIETY: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies

Nik Taylor. Lantern Books, 2013.

While animals have played a central part in human society over the years, when it comes to the social sciences they have largely been neglected. However, interest in Human–Animal Studies (HAS) has grown exponentially in recent years, giving rise to university and college courses around the world specifically on this compelling and vital subject.

Considering topics ranging from the human–animal bond, meat eating, and animals in entertainment, this book presents key concepts in simple and easy-to-understand ways as it covers the breadth of empirical work currently being done in the field. Through an examination of ideas such as anthropocentrism and the social construction of animals, it looks at how animals are symbolically transformed, presented, and re-presented as part of human culture. Ultimately, the book argues that there is nothing ‘natural’ about our social relations with animals, but that animals are made use of and understood through a human lens. Humans, Animals, and Society spans the diverse interests of the HAS community and is necessary reading for students and the general public looking to better understand our relationship with animals.

Nik Taylor is the Managing Editor of Society & Animals; a charter scholar of the Animals and Society Institute; and an Associate Member of the New Zealand Centre for Human–Animal Studies. Nik is also an editorial board member of Anthrozoos and Sociology. Now a Senior Lecturer atFlindersUniversity she has published numerous works on human–animal relations.