From ‘crazy cat ladies’ to ‘deranged’ animal advocates occupying a ‘lunatic fringe’ (Wolfe, 5), the spectre of the ‘crazy’ label is never too far from the ‘question of the animal’. Understanding how the ‘madness’ of our instrumentalised relationships with animals intersects with the ‘madness’ of taking animals seriously, is the major task of this Symposium. Animaladies are also a potential obstacle to connections with other progressive movements, and as such, they warrant specific attention and careful analysis.