Reviews & Notices Book reviews continued... Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights By Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka Readers may be familiar with the name Sue Donaldson, author of Foods That Don’t Bite Back. With this book, Donaldson and partner Will Kymlicka have expanded on traditional animal rights theory (ART) to put forward a radical vision of how humans might live with nonhuman animals respectfully. Recognising the limitations of the welfare vs. abolitionist divide in ART, Zoopolis applies citizenship theory to show how we can bring full political recognition to animals. In this approach, domesticated animals are accorded full status as citizens. Wild animals are recognised as having their own sovereign territories. Liminal animals who live on the fringes of human communities, such as foxes, badgers and squirrels, are 'denizens', which recognises that denizens share spaces with humans but do not benefit from being full co-citizens.
It may seem far-fetched at first and, anticipating this, Donaldson and Kymlicka put down carefully constructed arguments drawing from not only political theory but also disability studies. The overall effect is incredibly optimistic yet practical in terms of how we might one day live among other animals. This is a transformative alternative to the abolitionist view that any human interaction with animals can only be harmful. Zoopolis recognises there are a multitude of beneficial relationships that are possible between humans and animals, and is a thoughtful guide on the rights and responsibilities implicit in all of them. The book complements existing theories, as ART may not always have an answer to the question what a vegan world would look like, and to which extent humans are allowed to interact with other animals. Review by Kelly Somers
Notices Your views
Remembering Tobias Graf
The Vegan Society trustees and staff value and appreciate members’ feedback and input. In the coming months we will be holding a couple of events and undertake an online membership survey in order to hear your thoughts on how the society can best build on its achievements. Our vision remains a world in which humans do not exploit other animals. Our mission is to make veganism an easily adopted and widely recognised approach to reducing animal and human suffering and environmental damage by means of meaningful, peaceful and factual dialogue with individuals, organisations and companies. We are seeking your suggestions for the effective development of the society, making best use of limited resources. For example, should we educate public and private sector caterers, or influence manufacturers to expand their vegan range? Work with farmers interested in switching to crop farming? Focus on developing countries, their food security and nutritious plant-based meals? What would help non-human animals most? We would love to do it all, but we have to prioritise, and work in partnership with relevant organisations. We will notify members once we have specific details and we look forward to hearing from you.
The message about the death of our dear colleague, friend and founder of our company, Tobias Graf, has deeply hurt us all. Tobias died on September 2nd after a long illness. As a pioneer of the vegan movement, he created and continuously improved the formula for success of his company AVE – Absolute Vegan Empire – to which the vegan online store allesvegetarisch.de is affiliated. Veganism and animal rights were the central points of reference in his daily work routine. His entrepreneurial vision enabled access to the vegan lifestyle for many people. With his innovative ideas, Tobias proved how diversified a meat-free diet can be. He had the special ability to convince the people around him of his passion, and he also aroused the passion and joy in his colleagues to contribute to this great idea. This fire still burns. His idea will be followed with sincere commitment, and every single one involved will put love and attention in their work to carry on Tobias’ lifetime achievement. With his warm and cheerful manner, his open-minded and empathetic nature, Tobias was and always will be a role model.
42 The Vegan | Winter 2014
Visionary and kind Tobias Graf as we remember him
The magazine of The Vegan Society