Defenders of the `political turn’ in animal ethics agree that animals must be represented within democratic decision-making processes. There are, however, deep disagreements about how to represent animals politically, and these disagreements rest in part on deeper disagreements about the very nature and value of democracy itself. Traditional mainstream theories of democracy have typically emphasized that democracy is tied to ideas of political community and political agency. Because animals have often been seen as incapable of participating in either political community or political agency, many theories of the animal political turn seek to articulate a conception of democracy that downplays questions of community and agency, and focuses instead simply on aggregating affected interests. Dr. Will Kymlicka will argue that this is a mistake, both for animals and humans, and that an animal-friendly democracy must be responsive to diverse forms of community and agency.

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