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Speciesism and the Non-human  

Ragnhild Sollund

Speciesism is a concept that encompasses the ideology and practice humans perform in their discrimination against animals, based on the sole fact that they are not part of the human species. Speciesism legitimates animal abuse, animal exploitation, and theriocides (animal murder), as human practices with such consequences are justified and become part of daily routine. Speciesism is contingent on humans’ reliance on anthropocentric philosophy, language, culture more generally, and religion. The ideological and sociopsychological foundations for speciesism are located in discourse, difference, distance, and denial, which cause humans to create a moral circle, in which they are in the center while other animal species are situated in concentric circles around them. The animals’ position in relation to the human determines their treatment, rather than their interests, abilities, and cognitive skills, which call for stronger protection.

Article

The Harms and Crimes Against Plant Species  

Esteban Morelle-Hungría and Pablo Serra-Palao

In the 21st century, the socio-environmental crisis is not limited to the quantitative analysis of the biophysical conditions on a global or sub-global scale. Individual species are directly affected by the “dynamics of the Anthropocene”: climate change, extreme weather events, deforestation, the acidification of the oceans, pollution, the use of pesticides, and many other anthropogenic pressures. All of these pressures have serious implications for individual species. Among all these affected species, this entry focuses on plant species. The Anthropocene dynamics and their associated impacts on individual plant species can be perceived at a number of different levels and with varying degrees of intensity and severity. In green criminology, the conceptual complexity of the distinction between environmental damage and crime has been widely debated, mainly due to their different politico-legal responses. For this reason, it is essential to provide an overview of environmental harms and crimes that affect plant species. To achieve this, the analysis begins with a theoretical foundation of green criminology, outlining its origins, multiple definitions and perspectives, ethical foundations, and justice frameworks. From this green criminological perspective, the scientific literature on a selected list of harms and crimes against plant species is reviewed using a holistic and interdisciplinary approach.

Article

The Harms and Crimes Against Marine Wildlife  

Alison Hutchinson

The concept of crime within traditional criminological scholarship has tended to center on human or state victims. This anthropocentric focus facilitates speciesism within criminal law, where the recognition of, and responses to, environmental and wildlife victims are diminished. In contrast, and building on the foundations of critical criminology, green criminology is less confined by the strict definitions of crime found in orthodox criminology. The emergence of nonspeciesist perspectives within green criminology offers a means to expand the concept of crime and justice to recognize the numerous harms committed toward wildlife and environmental victims. It is well documented that marine species are under numerous and increasing pressures—from climate change, acidification of oceans, and the intensification of extractive ocean industries. Species who are also regarded as food resources face additional pressures from human exploitation as markets expand and demand grows. Very few of these pressures are actively criminalized. While fishing, mining, and polluting activities, and the disturbance and trade of protected species may be prohibited in certain situations, many detrimental practices toward marine species remain normative, condoned, and encouraged (e.g., fishing, shipping, and mining activities that involve the killing, displacement, or disruption of marine species). Transformative expansion of definitions of crime is urgently needed, to recognize the legal yet harmful behaviors that continue to victimize, exploit, kill, and potentially drive marine species to extinction.

Article

The Harms and Crimes of Farming/Food  

Ekaterina Gladkova

The processes of food production and consumption illuminate the relationship between society and the natural environment as well as the inner workings of the global political economy. As a result, food has been increasingly used by scholars to explore the world, and food-focused research is a rapidly growing research area within criminology. Studies of food crime and harm challenge the legal-procedural approach in criminology by examining harmful but legal activities and challenging the limitations of the victimhood construction. Industrial farming presents a useful case study for expanding the criminological research frontiers. Although a socially normalized and even encouraged practice, it is characterized by systemic harms rooted in the normal functioning of the capitalist food system. This includes harms against more-than-human animals, the natural environment, and communities living in that environment.