All creatures great and small: animals and us
WHEN: April 25, 2013
WHERE: The Alderman - 134 Lygon St, Brunswick East, VIC
FORMAT: 45 minute Q & A, 45 minute lecture

This series will explore animal-human relationships from a range of different philosophical, political and practical perspectives. It aims to look deeply at the social, ethical and individual implications of how we, as humans, understand and interact with non-human animals in today's world.


What is the connection between the oppressions of women and animals?

Feb. 5, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Lecturer: Ada Conroy

A critical look at the intersection of violence against women and animal abuse in the context of family violence and animal use in general.**Ada Conroy has worked in the family violence sector for over 12 years.

Not a dog: The history, vilification and politics of Dingoes

April 25, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Lecturer: Lyn Watson and a live dingo ambassador (Dingo Discovery Sanctuary & Research Centre)

Dingos have held a special place in the psyche of Australians, particularly since the Chamberlain case. But the fear we have of them, and the narratives that have developed about their nature and interaction with humans does not reflect reality. Lyn will talk about the history of dingoes in Australia, their treatment by humans, and the political issues around their classification as vermin, rather than wildlife. A live dingo ambassador will be coming along to the session too. **Lyn Watson founded and runs the Australian Dingo Foundation and the Australian Dingo Discovery and Research Center.

The happy hen on your supermarket shelf: What do you buy when you buy free range eggs?

May 16, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Lecturer: Christine Parker

The rise of the "free range" egg appeals to consumers' feelings that they don't want to be complicit in the suffering of animals. But the meaning of the label "free range" varies widely - and so does the relationships it represents between consumers, retailers, suppliers, farmers, hens and, ultimately, the earth and sun. In this session we will question what set of political, economic, social and ecological arrangements we buy when we buy "free range" at a supermarket compared with a farmers' market or organic store, and explore the ways in which we might be able to change these arrangements as consumers and citizens. Christine Parker is a Professor of Law and Regulatory Studies at Monash University. She teaches and writes on ethics for lawyers(?!), corporate social responsibility and business regulation and food politics and ethics.

Animals and the social imaginary: Racing and rescuing greyhounds

May 23, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Lecturer: Ray Madden (La Trobe)

While animals are flesh and blood social actors, they are also rich vectors for human imaginings. Animal are found in allegory, metaphor, origin stories, national myths, and all sorts of human narratives. In this talk Ray Madden will be looking at some of the ways in which animals are socially constructed and how animals do an enormous amount of symbolic work in human societies. In particular he will draw on his research around greyhound racing and rescue and the competing narratives that operate in this domain.**Ray Madden is an Anthropologist and Senior Lecturer in La Trobe University’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Development Studies. His research interests are the societies of Ingenious South-east Australia and the social dimensions of human-animal relationships.

Accountable killing.

May 30, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Lecturer: Patrick Jones (Daylesford locavore / UWS )

How do we reclaim an ethico-animal accountability in an era of pacifist-sanctioned corporatism? **Patrick Jones is a locavore from Daylesford, and a PhD candidate at the University of Western Sydney. His website is permapoesis.blogspot

Choosing compassion in a ruthless world: Barriers to ethical decision making

Sept. 5, 2013, 6:30 p.m. Lecturer: Naty Guerrero-Diaz

This session will explore the difficulties we face in making choices that are consistent with our core values about non-human animals in the context of a world set up to disassociate us from our relationship and responsibilities towards them, especially those usually bred for consumption. We will identify common barriers to ethical decision making, come up with some strategies to overcome them and in the process, hopefully, move towards consistency between our ethical beliefs and our day-to-day decisions.**Naty is the co-owner of a vegan cafe in Collingwood, the convenor of a regular vegan discussion group and a medical defence lawyer.

WHERE: The Alderman