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 22
Tutorials 10
Fieldwork / Visits 4
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 20
Reflective writing 25
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.

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