Engineering Freedom? A Critique of Biotechnological Routes to Animal Liberation

Matthew Cole, Karen J Morgan

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationSpecial issue (Specialist Publication)

16 Citations (Scopus)


This essay presents a critical analysis of the claims of three biotechnological innovations to be facilitative of nonhuman animal liberation: de-domestication; in vitro meat (IVM); and human tissue research. The analysis is facilitated by the application of a conceptual model of human/nonhuman animal relations, which highlights the interconnection of hegemonic material and discursive practices in
classifying the nature and purpose of nonhuman animals. The analysis therefore considers both the liberatory potential of each biotechnology, as well as its limitations, in light of its capacity to, respectively, generate novel material and discursive practices or to reproduce existing ones. The essay concludes with an extended discussion of an alternative, nonbiotechnological approach to animal liberation rooted in the ecofeminist work of Marti Kheel and Brian Luke.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages229
Specialist publicationConfigurations
PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2013


  • biotechnology
  • Nonhuman Animals
  • Animal Liberations
  • Ethics of care

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