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Beasts on Trial: The Case for the Moral Agency of Animals

This excellent article by James McWilliams associate professor of history at Texas State University offers some surprising insights into the way human views of animals have changed over the centuries. It also serves as a good reminder that the concepts of animal morality, cognition, and emotion don’t owe their existence to modern science or our superior moral sense any more than they owed it to past generations’ superstition and ignorance. For modern society though, the question is whether we’re willing to accept the responsibilities that go with that expanded view of animals or whether it’s just so much talk.

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