Book review - Animal Welfare and International Environmental Law: From Conservation to Compassion

Iyan Offor

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Since J Baird Callicot wrote that environmental ethics and animal ethics grow out of ‘profoundly different cosmic visions’, animal ethics have been troublingly and needlessly divorced from environmental ethics. This situation is mirrored in law. Legal actors overplay regulatory circumstances that feed this fiction: pest control (supposedly compassionless by nature) is required for ecosystem flourishing; ballooning population levels necessitate more intensive animal farming (as if it weren’t true that the livestock industry is a protein factory in reverse (Peter Singer, Animal Liberation)); and mass adoption of vegan diets is unsustainable (evidently we ought to breed and feed billions of mutated, mutilated, and overgrown farm animals instead). Such false claims run rampant within the academy. Consequently, the title of this collection alone is bound to draw scorn. Scholtz and the contributors to this collection deserve the greatest praise for their bravery and intellectual integrity in supporting a compassionate approach to conservation. May the scorners read on and pay heed to this book’s groundswell of movement-building ideas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-177
Number of pages4
JournalIUCN Academy of Environmental Law eJournal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • animal rights
  • compassionate conservation
  • wildlife law


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