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STUDY: Perspectives On India’s Animal Advocacy

The study focuses on the link between animal activism and identity by investigating how certain groups use the animal cause to reinforce a sense of political or religious belonging.

TERESA GALLO: The relationship between humans and non-human animals can be influenced by different cultural, historical, and religious viewpoints. India is no exception. While many Western advocates may have limited knowledge of India, it is a place where animal welfare has had a long history. This study set out to explore what influences India’s animal debate, in historical and present terms…

While not meant to be exhaustive, this study analyzes research done in India between 2016 and 2017, as well as newspapers and legal files, to outline India’s diverse approach to the animal issue… Throughout the article, the author introduces some of the main actors driving the Indian debate, past and present: monks, politicians, lawyers, celebrities, and hunters turned conservationists and photographers…

Particularly, the author focuses on the link between animal activism and identity by investigating how certain groups use the animal cause to reinforce a sense of political or religious belonging. One notable example is Hindu Reformists’ cow protection efforts to reinforce anti-Muslim and anti-colonial feelings.

Another example is the “go vegan” campaign organized by Tibetan refugee settlements around Asia to promote the idea of a “green Tibetan Buddhist cultural identity” — in opposition to what they define as “Chinese’s unethical treatment of animals.”…

This study also focused on how animals are seen by different groups of people. For example, the author found that lawyers have been fighting for the recognition of animals as legal persons. Similarly, animal rights organizations see animals as individuals whose suffering should be prevented and alleviated, both legally and through direct help.  SOURCE…

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