CCGL9052 Global Issues

Some We Love, Some We Eat: Human-Animal Relationships in the Global Marketplace

[This course is under the thematic cluster of ‘Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth’.]


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 globalizing world, our diverse relationships with animals stimulate questions on compassion, economics, urbanization, transnational mobility, global ethics and citizenship.

The promotion of animal rights and ending animal cruelty is often regarded as one key mission for 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 in the global marketplace.

[There will be field trips scheduled during Reading Week. Students will be required to choose one from the 3 – 5 options provided. All field trips will last about two hours.]

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will 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.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Second semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Seminars 2
Fieldwork / Visits 2
Film screening and discussion 2
Reading / Self-study 30
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 20
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 20
Assessment: Group project 30
Total: 136

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Tutorial discussion and debate 15
Field trip report 15
Reflective writing 30
Group project 40

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., & Fitzgerald, A. (Eds.). (2007). The animals reader: The essential classic and contemporary writings. Oxford: Berg.

Recommended Reading

  • Ascione, F. (2008). The international handbook of animal abuse and cruelty: Theory, research and application. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.
  • Corbey, R., & Lanjouw, A. (Eds.). (2013). The politics of species: Reshaping our relationships with other animals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Creager, A. (Ed.). (2005). The animal/human boundary: Historical perspectives. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.
  • Cudworth, E. (2015). Killing animals: Sociology, species relations and institutionalized violence. The Sociological Review63(1), 1-18.
  • de Waal, F. (2016). Are we smart enough to know smart animals are?  New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc.
  • Herzog, H., Grayson, S., & Mccord, D. (2015). Brief measures of the animal attitude scale. Anthrozoos: A multidisciplinary journal of the interactions of people & animals28(1), 101-116.      
  • Joy, M. (2009). Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows: An introduction to carnism. Newburyport, MA: Conari Press.
  • Kalof, L., & Resl, B. (Eds.).  (2007). A cultural history of animals. Oxford: Berg.
  • Kelch, T. G. (2011). Globalization and animal law: Comparative law, international law and international trade. The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International.
  • Knight, S., & Herzog, H. (2009). All creatures great and small: New perspectives on psychology and human-animal interactions. Journal of Social Issues65(3), 451-461.
  • Lee, P. Y. (2008). Meat, modernity and the rise of the slaughterhouse. Durham: University of New Hampshire Press.
  • Messier, C., Giraldeau, L. A., & Beisner B. (Eds.) (2012). Nature all around us: A guide to urban ecology. University of Chicago Press, USA.
  • Nibert, D. (2002). Animal rights, human rights: Entanglements of oppression and domination. Latham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Palmer, C. (2010). Animal ethics in context. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Patterson, C. (2002). Eternal Treblinka: Our treatment of animals and the holocaust. New York: Lantern.
  • Regan, T. (2004). The case for animal rights. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Sax, B. (2001). The mythical zoo: An encyclopedia of animals in world myth, legend and literature. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio.
  • Singer, P. (2009). Animal liberation. New York: Harper Collins.
  • Sunstein, C. R., & Nussbaum, M. (Eds.). (2004). Animal rights: Current debates and new directions. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Taylor, N. (2013). Humans, animals, and society: An introduction to human-animal studies. New York: Lantern Books.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr C.K.M. Tong
Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 4641
Email: ckmtong@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr C.K.M. Tong
Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 4641
Email: ckmtong@hku.hk