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"Humane Criminology": An Inclusive Victimology Protecting Animals and People

By Phil Arkow

Category Journal Articles

To those who primarily associate the word “humane” with “humane society”, its connection to criminology might appear to be unrelated. The origins of “humane” and “humane society” are complex and primarily reflect an abiding interest in human and societal welfare rather than animal welfare. Consequently, the origins and evolution of the current American association of humane societies with animal protection—as contrasted to its British association with rescuing victims of drowning—remain shrouded in mystery. A new focus that returns to the original roots of “humane” describing the implications of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect as cause for human and societal concern due to their potential as sentinel indicators and predictors of interpersonal violence, rather than a strict focus on animals’ welfare or their alleged “rights”, holds great promise for advancing legislation and community programming that improves the well-being of human and non-human animal species and the prevention of crime.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2021
Publication Title Social Sciences
Volume 10
Issue 9
Pages 21
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/socsci10090335
URL https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/10/9/335
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal rights
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Child abuse
  4. Domestic violence
  5. Humane education
  6. Older adults
  7. open access
  1. open access