Book Notice: Asian Perspectives on Animal Ethics: Rethinking the Non-Human

A new collection of essays on Animal Ethics in Asian Traditions, many of which deal with Buddhist and Hindu material. Description and contents below.

Dalal, Neil and Taylor, Chloe. 2014. Asian Perspectives on Animal Ethics: Rethinking the Non-Human (London: Routledge).



To date, philosophical discussions of animal ethics and Critical Animal Studies have been dominated by Western perspectives and Western thinkers. This book makes a novel contribution to animal ethics in showing the range and richness of ideas offered to these fields by diverse Asian traditions.

Asian Perspectives on Animal Ethics is the first of its kind to include the intersection of Asian and European traditions with respect to human and nonhuman relations. Presenting a series of studies focusing on specific Asian traditions, as well as studies that put those traditions in dialogue with Western thinkers, this book looks at Asian philosophical doctrines concerning compassion and nonviolence as these apply to nonhuman animals, as well as the moral rights and status of nonhuman animals in Asian traditions. Using Asian perspectives to explore ontological, ethical and political questions, contributors analyze humanism and post-humanism in Asian and comparative traditions and offer insight into the special ethical relations between humans and other particular species of animals.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Asian religion and philosophy, as well as to those interested in animal ethics and Critical Animal Studies.


Introduction Neil Dalal Part 1: Compassion and Nonviolence 1. Being Sentiently with Others: The Shared Existential Trajectory among Humans and Nonhumans in Jainism Anne Vallely 2. Animal Compassion: What the Jatakas Teach Levinas About Giving ‘the Bread from One’s Own Mouth’ Katharine Loevy Part 2: Humanism and Posthumanism 3. China’s Confucian Horses: The Place of Nonhuman Animals in a Confucian World Order Bao-Er 4. Heidegger and Zhuangzi on the Nonhuman: Towards a Transcultural Critique of (Post)humanism Mario Wenning Part 3: Moral Rights and Status of Nonhuman Animals 5. The Argument for Ahiṃsā in the Anuśāsanaparvan of the Mahābhārata Christopher Framarin 6. Cutting the Cat in One: Zen Master Dōgen on the Moral Status of Non-Human Animals James McRae 7. Non-human animals and the Question of Rights from Asian Perspectives Christopher Key Chapple Part 4: Special Relations—Bovine Dharma and Snake Worship 8. Bovine Dharma: Non-human animals in the Swadhyaya Parivar Pankaj Jain 9. Snakes in the Dark Age: Human Action, Karmic Retribution, and the Possibilities for Hindu Animal Ethics Amy Allocco


About Chris Framarin

Chris Framarin is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. He is the author of Hinduism and Environmental Ethics: Law, Literature, and Philosophy (Routledge 2014) and Desire and Motivation in Indian Philosophy (Routledge 2009).

3 Replies to “Book Notice: Asian Perspectives on Animal Ethics: Rethinking the Non-Human”

    • JK,

      No doubt pricey. The Routledge books usually go to paperback in 18 months. Until then, the library!

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