Saving Animals: Multispecies Ecologies of Rescue and Care (Paperback)

Before placing an order, please note:

  • You'll receive a confirmation email once your order is complete and ready for pickup. 
  • If you have a membership, please make a note of this in the order comments and we'll apply your discount.
  • Online orders are nonrefundable and cannot be exchanged.
  • If you place a pre-order to be shipped in the same order as currently available titles, an additional shipping fee will be added to your order.  
  • Women & Children First is not responsible for lost or stolen packages.
Saving Animals: Multispecies Ecologies of Rescue and Care By Elan Abrell Cover Image
Unavailable from our sources


A fascinating and unprecedented ethnography of animal sanctuaries in the United States

In the past three decades, animal rights advocates have established everything from elephant sanctuaries in Africa to shelters that rehabilitate animals used in medical testing, to homes for farmed animals, abandoned pets, and entertainment animals that have outlived their “usefulness.” Saving Animals is the first major ethnography to focus on the ethical issues animating the establishment of such places, where animals who have been mistreated or destined for slaughter are allowed to live out their lives simply being animals.   

Based on fieldwork at animal rescue facilities across the United States, Elan Abrell asks what “saving,” “caring for,” and “sanctuary” actually mean. He considers sanctuaries as laboratories where caregivers conceive and implement new models of caring for and relating to animals. He explores the ethical decision making around sanctuary efforts to unmake property-based human–animal relations by creating spaces in which humans interact with animals as autonomous subjects. Saving Animals illustrates how caregivers and animals respond by cocreating new human–animal ecologies adapted to the material and social conditions of the Anthropocene.

Bridging anthropology with animal studies and political philosophy, Saving Animals asks us to imagine less harmful modes of existence in a troubled world where both animals and humans seek sanctuary.

About the Author

Elan Abrell is visiting assistant professor of animal studies at Wesleyan University, adjunct assistant professor of animal studies and anthropology at New York University, and adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at Western Connecticut State University.

Praise For…

"When Elan Abrell visited VINE, we put him to work mucking out the barn. He threw himself into the work whole-heartedly, seizing the opportunity to immerse himself in everyday life at the sanctuary. We could see that he understood why we require visitors to help co-create our community by adding their own labor to the mix. In Saving Animals, Abrell brings the same combination of vigor, rigor, and acuity to the challenge of thinking care-fully about the many ethical questions that arise in the course of rescue and sanctuary work."—pattrice jones, cofounder of VINE Sanctuary

"Groundbreaking in both its focus and its depth, Saving Animals is essential reading for anyone interested in the complexities of building less-exploitative relationships with animals, whether in the context of a sactuary or in one's home."—American Anthropologist


Product Details
ISBN: 9781517908126
ISBN-10: 1517908124
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Pages: 272
Language: English