London lectures

Membership Rights for Animals

The cause of animal rights has been advancing for several decades. What should be the next step? Part of the London Lectures Series, A Philosophers’ Manifesto: Ideas and Arguments to Change the World.

The cause of animal rights has been advancing for several decades. What should be the next step?

Will Kymlicka argues that domesticated animals – including companion and farm animals – should be granted rights as members of society, with a distinctive, non-human role.

Questioning the widely-held assumption that “society” is a human-exclusive phenomenon, Kymlicka posits that domesticated animals participate in schemes of co-operation, comply with rule-governed institutions, and have interdependent interests. “We therefore need to think about society in interspecies terms.”

  • Speaker

    Will Kymlicka is the Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s University. His books include Multicultural Citizenship (1995), Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the New International Politics of Diversity (2007), and Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (2011), co-authored with Sue Donaldson.