The Two Sides of the Non-Human-Animal Bond: Reflections on Using and Abusing Companion Animals

Michal Piotr Pregowski*, K. Hediger, M.J. Enders - Slegers

*Corresponding author for this work

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


This chapter concerns the complexity of interspecies relationships in contemporary world. These relationships are ever-changing, yet continuously prone to anthropocentric attitudes and practices, prompting a reflection on the ways people use and abuse (other) animals. The authors offer an outlook on these phenomena focusing on the human-animal bond, with particular interest in animal-assisted interventions and other contexts where animals serve people. This chapter points out that the bond and partnership often contrast with the grim reality of animals being subjected to human-first attitudes and human-centered policies. Such attitudes and policies may subsequently lead to abusive practices. In their typology of animal abuse, the authors point to its less discussed varieties, such as institutional abuse originating in either legislation or decision-making. This chapter calls for further exploration of what truly entails using and abusing members of other species.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman/Animal Relationships in Transformation
EditorsAugusto Vitale, Simone Pollo
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-85277-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-85276-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Publication series

SeriesThe Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series


  • Animal abuse
  • Animal-assisted interventions
  • Categories of abuse
  • Human-animal bond
  • Using animals


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