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Some we love, some we eat: Human-animal relationships in the global marketplace

Offer semester
2nd semester

Lecture time
Wednesday 12:30 - 14:20

Lecture venue

Course description

Animals are everywhere and nowhere in modern societies. Except for the pets and animals in zoos, most animals are segregated from human’s everyday lives. Yet we eat them, wear them and consume them on a daily basis. In a globalising world, our diverse relationships with animals stimulate questions on compassion, economics, urbanisation, transnational mobility, global ethics and citizenship.

The promotion of animal rights and ending animal cruelty is often regarded as one key mission for the 21st century global citizens and has become a global social movement. There is now an increasing awareness of the global economy of animal trading and entertainment industry, rethinking the sociological, anthropological and scientific distinctions of human and non-human animals, and also of the new patterns of human-animal co-existence in urban cities. This course aims at stimulating students’ critical reflections upon different social constructions and moral implications of our relationships with the non-human creatures across cultures and societies in the global marketplace.

Course learning outcomes

On completing the course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe and explain human-animal relations in modern societies from historical, anthropological, sociological, philosophical and economic perspectives.
  2. Reflect on their daily interactions with animals and animal products in relations to the global economic development.
  3. Understand the importance of human decision and habits in affecting the lives and welfare of animals.
  4. Be aware of the global development of animal rights movement and the relevance to global citizens.
  1. *PLO: Programme Learning Outcome – Common Core


Tutorial participation and discussion15%
Field trip report (or Film report)20%
Reflective essay25%
Group project40%

Required reading

DeMello, M. 2012. Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies. New York: Columbia University Press.
Herzog, H. 2010. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight about Animals. New York: Harper.
Kalof, L. and A. Fitzgerald eds. 2007. The Animals Reader: The Essential Classic and Contemporary Writings. Oxford: Berg.

Required websites

Field trip

There will be field trips scheduled during Reading Week. Students will be required to choose 1 field trip from the 3-5 options provided. All field trips will last about 2-5 hours. This is a compulsory activity of the course and students must attend one of the field trips in order to complete the field trip report.

*If the field trips could not be conducted due to COVID-19 and related social distancing measures, the assignment would be replaced by a film report.

Course co-ordinator and teachers

Office opening hours adjustment