Courses & Programs

History of Animal Advocacy in the United States, 1865 - Present [C]



Less than 150 years ago in the United States, abusing or beating an animal to death was, in most cases, legal and acceptable. Today, by contrast, both state and federal laws mandate the humane treatment of companion animals, circus animals, food animals, laboratory animals, and wildlife, and a vibrant animal advocacy movement boasts thousands of organizations and millions of members. How did this dramatic change occur? Who were the early activists and how did they fight cruelty and change the laws and attitudes of this nation? This course explores and debates the roots, identities, struggles, and successes of the American Animal advocacy movement since 1865. As we examine its growth and evolution, we will locate the movement within the context of larger social forces such as industrialization, science and technology, consumerism, and environmentalism. We will reveal the connections between past and present thus demonstrating the relevancy of animal advocacy to our society and our own lives.