Every Sparrow That Falls: Understanding Animal Rights Activism as Functional Religion

Society and Animals 8 (1):305-330 (2000)

Abstract

This article reports original research conducted among animal rights activists and elites in Switzerland and the United States, and the finding that activism functioned in activists' and elites' lives like religious belief. The study used reference sampling to select Swiss and American informants.Various articles and activists have identified both latent and manifest quasi-religious components in the contemporary movement Hence, the research followed upon these data and anecdotes and tested the role of activism in adherents' lives. Using extensive interviews, the research discovered that activists and elites conform to the five necessary components of Yinger's definition of functional religion: intense and memorable conversion experiences, newfound communities of meaning, normative creeds, elaborate and well-defined codes of behavior, and cult formation. The article elaborates on that schema in the context of animal rights belief, elucidates the deeply meaningful role of activism within a filigree of meaning, and concludes that the movement is facing schismatic forces not dissimilar to redemptive and religious movements

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,879

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-02-04

Downloads
10 (#907,748)

6 months
1 (#386,016)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 1983 - University of California Press, C1983.
Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity.Ulrich Beck, Mark Ritter & Jennifer Brown - 1993 - Environmental Values 2 (4):367-368.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Similar books and articles

Activism as Integrity. [REVIEW]Joel Marks - 2008 - Philosophy Now (67):44-45.
Animal Rights and Environmental Terrorism.Stephen Cooke - 2012 - Journal of Terrorism Research 4 (2):26-36.
Activism for Animals.D. Rudacille - 1998 - In Marc Bekoff & Carron A. Meaney (eds.), Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare. Greenwood Press. pp. 1--3.
Raising the Bar in the Justification of Animal Research.Elisa Galgut - 2015 - Journal of Animal Ethics 5 (1):5-19,.
Animal Rights: A Very Short Introduction.David DeGrazia (ed.) - 2002 - Oxford University Press.