Africa and her animals (Pretoria: Unisa Press, 2018)

Africa and her animals
Philosophical and Practical Perspectives

Edited by Rainer Ebert & Anteneh Roba, and published by the University of South Africa (UNISA) Press

With a foreword by J. M. Coetzee,
the 2003 Nobel Laureate in Literature

ISBN 978-1-86888-900-6
xxi + 358 pages


As our world grows closer together, our awareness of socio-economic inequalities has vastly increased. As a result, development programs in Africa have worked to address deficiencies in human healthcare, education, and poverty, striving to provide a better life for millions of human beings. Surprisingly little attention, however, has been given to the well-being of the countless non-human animals in their midst. Suffering from human cruelty, starvation, injury, and neglect, these animals interact with Africans every day, yet have been overlooked by those seeking to improve conditions on the continent.

The aim of this book is to directly address this lack of attention to a vital part of the African community. To the extent permitted by the incredible diversity of the continent, it analyzes the ways in which non-human animals impact, are a part of, and are affected by African societies, by investigating the moral, social, cultural, religious, and legal status of non-human animals in Africa. It shows that, far from being of secondary importance, animals are essential to the everyday lives and well-being of Africans and important in their own right.

The book is divided into five parts: Animals and Philosophy in Africa; Animals, Religion and Society in Africa; African Animals in Law, Legislation and Policy; The Use of Animals in Africa; and Public Health, the Environment and African Wildlife. Each part focuses on a different aspect of the relationship between humans and other animals in Africa. The first half of the book tends to be concerned with questions that are theoretical, whereas the second half is more practical in nature. A strict separation, however, is neither possible nor wanted. Rather, it is part of the purpose of this book to show that theoretical and practical issues are inextricably linked with each other, and that it is hence necessary for anybody seriously interested in animal issues to transcend disciplinary boundaries. Just like animal activists, NGO workers, and policy makers are more likely to do well if they have a proper understanding of the philosophical, religious, and scientific underpinnings of the issues they are dealing with, scholars can benefit greatly from genuine and sustained interaction with practitioners. The book itself is the result of interdisciplinary cooperation, and hopefully will convince the reader of the value of such cooperation.

This book challenges the common view that animals are essentially inferior to human beings, and is intended as both a conversation starter and a call to action. It is a valuable source of information and inspiration for researchers, students, policy makers, development workers, and others dealing with, or interested in, animals in Africa, and urges individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments to notice other animals and take them seriously as individuals and members of our moral community.

Table of Contents

J. M. Coetzee

Rainer Ebert & Anteneh Roba

Part 1: Animals and Philosophy in Africa

Isilwane: The Animal – Ubuntu, ukama and environmental justice
Kai Horsthemke

The ethics of ubuntu/hunhu in the animal rights discourse in Africa
Clive Tendai Zimunya & Joyline Gwara

Cultivating animal rights in Africa
Yamikani Ndasauka & Chikumbutso Manthalu

Species apartheid and the killing fields of Africa
Steven Best

The African university and the moral status of non-human animals
Workineh Kelbessa & Rainer Ebert

Part 2: Animals, Religion and Society in Africa

Africa, animals, and the Almighty: A Christian call to the cause of animal liberation
Lisa Kemmerer

The Equigenic Principle and mizan: Islamic foundations for animal welfare in Africa
Nadeem Haque & Mehran Banaei

Towards the eradication of animal sacrifice in African traditional religion
Sweet Ufumwen Akenzua-Ebeigbe

The moral status and well-being of animals in the Oromo culture
Workineh Kelbessa

The welfare of domestic dogs and cats in disadvantaged communities in Southern Africa
Morgane James

Part 3: African Animals in Law, Legislation and Policy

Southern Africa: Overview and analysis of the status of animal welfare
Janice H. Cox

Global policy context of the trade in, and captivity of, African animals: The geography of value
Debra Durham

Hidden in plain sight: South and Southern Africa’s illegal reptile trade
Friedo Johann Willem Herbig

Animal cruelty and law enforcement challenges in Southern Africa
Wendy Willson

Part 4: The Use of Animals in Africa

The looming threat of factory farming in Africa
Anteneh Roba

A rush toward industrial animal agriculture: Africa joins the race, but what does winning look like?
Mia MacDonald

Changing times: Animal experimentation in Africa
Esté Kotzé

Working animals in Africa: A case study of working equines in Kenya and Egypt
David Obiero Oduori, Solomon Calvin Onyango & Shaaban Fayez Farhat

Part 5: Public Health, the Environment and African Wildlife

Africa’s meat and diary industry: A threat to the continent’s future 293
Hope Ferdowsian

Control of human and animal rabies in Ethiopia: Ethical, environmental and public health concerns
Victoria Team & Anteneh Roba

The lions and the zebras: Towards a new ethics of environmental management in African National Parks
Catia Faria

Strategies for wildlife management in Africa: Actors, successes, and failures
Bridget Bwalya Umar

How to get the book

For any inquiries about how to buy the book, please contact the UNISA Press Sales Section.

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The book is available at a good number of libraries around the world, some of which are listed here, and some more of which are shown here on a world map.