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The literature on social justice, and social justice movements themselves, routinely ignore nonhuman animals as legitimate subjects of social justice. Yet, as with other social justice movements, the contemporary animal liberation movement has as its focus the elimination of institutional and systemic domination and oppression. In this paper, I explicate the philosophical and theoretical foundations of the contemporary animal rights movement, and situate it within the framework of social justice. I argue that those committed to social justice – to minimizing violence, exploitation, domination, objectification, and oppression – are equally obligated to consider the interests of all sentient beings, not only those of human beings.


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