Thou Shall Not Harm All Living Beings: Feminism, Jainism, and Animals
Article first published online: 8 MAR 2012
© by Hypatia, Inc.
Special Issue: Animal Others
Volume 27, Issue 3, pages 636–650, August 2012
How to Cite
Aristarkhova, I. (2012), Thou Shall Not Harm All Living Beings: Feminism, Jainism, and Animals. Hypatia, 27: 636–650. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2012.01281.x
- Issue published online: 2 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 8 MAR 2012
In this paper, I critically develop the Jain concept of nonharm as a feminist philosophical concept that calls for a change in our relation to living beings, specifically to animals. I build on the work of Josephine Donovan, Carol J. Adams, Jacques Derrida, Kelly Oliver, and Lori Gruen to argue for a change from an ethic of care and dialogue to an ethic of carefulness and nonpossession. I expand these discussions by considering the Jain philosophy of nonharm (ahimsa) in relation to feminist and other theories that advocate noneating of animals, “humane killing,” and “less harm.” Finally, I propose that a feminist appropriation of the Jain concept of nonharm helps us develop a feminist ethic of nonharm to all living beings.