Working Animals, Ethics and Critical Theory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


In this chapter, we aim to contribute to the development of the ‘diverse and morally challenging issues’ associated not only with the question of animal rights and ethics per se, but also with the interrelationship between non-human and human animals as objects of workplace management and exploitation. In order to achieve this, we consider the relationship between animals and business ethics through the work of the German philosopher and social critic Theodor Adorno, along with others associated with the first generation of thinkers attached to what is commonly known as the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. To illustrate the dialectical interface between the exploitation and domination of both non-human and human animals, we draw on research into what is a somewhat novel, yet instructive working environment; namely Christmas tourism in Lapland, and the labour of those reindeer, and associated human workers who help create memorable experiences for visiting tourists. In particular, this research sheds light upon tourism as a global industry based on the work of low-paid, young female workers, and a wide variety of animal species. Through this chapter, we argue that the ethical treatment of animals at work requires us to question the structures of current economic activity including its implication for both human and non-human workers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnimals and Business Ethics
EditorsNatalie Thomas
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-97142-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-97144-1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2022
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesThe Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series


  • critical theory
  • Critical Management Studies
  • animals
  • Tourism
  • tourism work
  • animal work
  • Ethics
  • Morality
  • nonhuman
  • Lapland
  • Reindeer
  • animal-based tourism
  • Management
  • Organization
  • Tourism business
  • business ethics
  • animal ethics
  • Responsible tourism
  • sustainable tourism
  • Working animals
  • Exploitation
  • Theodor Adorno
  • Critical theory

Field of science

  • Business and management
  • Tourism research


Dive into the research topics of 'Working Animals, Ethics and Critical Theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Citation for this output