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Keywords:

  • non-human animals;
  • advocacy;
  • reflexivity;
  • oppression;
  • critical;
  • sociology

Abstract

This paper focuses on sociology and the study of human non-human animal relations. Using as a catalyst referees' comments on a previous paper about experiments using non-human animal subjects, in this present paper three problematics are identified and discussed. These problematics centre on the ‘acceptable’ content of sociological inquiry, the ‘permissibility’ of advocacy-oriented sociology, and the ‘admissibility’ of non-human animal-advocacy to advocacy-oriented sociology. The three problematics are explored through the lens of reflexive and critical sociology. Two central questions are raised: first, should sociology include the study of non-human animals and secondly, can sociology advocate for non-human animals? The paper concludes with an affirmative response to both of these questions. The paper ends by stressing that sociology has so much to offer the study of human non-human animal relations. Professional sociologists have a key role to play in enabling this work to move from margins to centre in published sociology.