Animal Studies Journal


In a recent article, Corey Wrenn argues that in order to adequately address injustices done to animals, we ought to think systemically. Her argument stems from a critique of the individualist approach I employ to resolve a moral dilemma faced by animal sanctuaries, who sometimes must harm some animals to help others. But must systemic critiques of injustice be at odds with individualist approaches? In this paper, I respond to Wrenn by showing how individualist approaches that take seriously the notion of group responsibility can be deployed to solve complicated dilemmas that are products of injustice. Contra Wrenn, I argue that to adequately address injustice, acting individually, often within groups, is significantly more important than thinking systemically.