Wild Animals and Justice: The Case of the Dead Elephant in the Room

Helen Kopnina
  • Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, July 2016, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/13880292.2016.1204882

Wild Animals and Justice

What is it about?

This article focuses on engagements with elephants in diverse contexts, inquiring why some scholars are indifferent or even actively opposed to discourses that emphasise elephant suffering. In order to address this question, this article will explore three interrelated streams within social science: one that criticises conservation as an elitist, neo-colonial enterprise; one that is preoccupied with the social construction and cultural interpretation of natural phenomenon; and a third sometimes referred to as the new conservation science that focuses on economic valuations of the benefits nature, viewing “nature is a warehouse for human use.”

Why is it important?

This article discusses the 'dead elephant in the room' - Much of conservation is now oriented towards human welfare, but here I state that nonhuman interests need to be considered as well. This article focuses on engagements with elephants in diverse contexts, inquiring why some scholars are indifferent or even actively opposed to discourses that emphasise elephant suffering. In order to address this question, this article will explore three interrelated streams within social science: one that criticises conservation as an elitist, neo-colonial enterprise; one that is preoccupied with the social construction and cultural interpretation of natural phenomenon; and a third sometimes referred to as the new conservation science that focuses on economic valuations of the benefits nature, viewing “nature is a warehouse for human use.”

Perspectives

Dr Helen Kopnina
The Hague University of Applied Sciences

This article focuses on engagements with elephants in diverse contexts, inquiring why some scholars are indifferent or even actively opposed to discourses that emphasise elephant suffering. In order to address this question, this article will explore three interrelated streams within social science: one that criticises conservation as an elitist, neo-colonial enterprise; one that is preoccupied with the social construction and cultural interpretation of natural phenomenon; and a third sometimes referred to as the new conservation science that focuses on economic valuations of the benefits nature, viewing “nature is a warehouse for human use.”

Read Publication

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13880292.2016.1204882

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