AuthorClayton C. Ruby
ProfessionBarrister and Solicitor. Toronto, Canada
It is clear that we need to rethin k our relationship with animals. Part of
that task of necessit y is to re-imagine how we conceive of them. Beyond
a doubt, there has been an increa sing sensitivity to animal welf are over
recent decades, and good as that is, it is not suf f‌icient if all that emerges
from it are increased penalties which, theoretically, could be imposed
on humans who engage in animal c ruelty. The relationship is far more
complex than that.
This book examines the unique role that animal s play as living
property in a legal system conceived by and for human beings. On
the one hand, animal s are things th at we buy, eat, and use in experi-
ments. On the other, they are beloved family companions i n a bond
that scarcely allows for separat ion between self and other. Our law does
not handle this discord with much dexterity.
Indeed, it is this core ambiguity that provides the context for exam-
ining the histor y of — and the historical basis for — laws with respect
to animals. The book trace s these, from the anim al trials which began
in the thirteenth century in Europe, through the development of anti-
cruelty laws, to the present struggle to cope with the conf‌l icting im-
plications of biotechnology and other industrial uses for animal s, and
indeed, artif‌icially created living t hings. Throughout, the book critic-
ally evaluates the present legal st atus of animals and asks us to cons ider
whether animals should be viewed as objects, as legal subjects, as legal
persons, or as something else entirely.
Read on. You will remember this book.
Clayton C Ruby
Barrister a nd Solicitor
Toronto, Canada

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