Department of Philosophy



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On May 18-19, 2018, the Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law, and Ethics research group (APPLE) at Queen’s University will be hosting a workshop on the emerging topic of animal labour. For both humans and non-human animals, work is often an important dimension of life, and a fundamental determinant of well-being. At its best, work can be a source of social recognition, personal meaning and material security, but it can also be a site of intense instrumentalization, exploitation and degradation. Our aim is to explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of recognizing animals as workers. Under what conditions could animal labour become a source of meaning and well-being for animals? What sorts of legal, political and social changes – both in the workplace and in the broader society – would be required? How can we ensure that talk of animal work is not used simply to whitewash existing forms of exploitation? Against the long history of instrumentalizing animal labour, is it realistic to think that we can create interspecies workplaces that are just?

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