The case for a victimology of nonhuman animal harms

Melanie Flynn, Matthew D. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


For the last twenty years ‘victimology’, the study of crime victims and victimisation has developed markedly. Like its ‘parent’ discipline of criminology, however, very little work has been done in this field around the notion of environmental victimisation. Like criminology itself, victimology has been almost exclusively anthropocentric in its outlook and indeed even more recent discussions of environmental victims – prompted by the development of green criminology – have failed to consider in any depth the victimisation of nonhuman animals. In this paper, we examine the shortfall in provision for and discussions of nonhuman animal victims with reference to Christie’s notion of the ‘ideal victim’ and Boutellier’s concept of the ‘victimalization of morality’. We argue that as victimology has increasingly embraced concepts of victimisation based on ‘social harms’ rather than strict legalistic categorises, its rejection of nonhuman victims from the ambit of study is no longer conceptually or philosophically justified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-318
Number of pages20
JournalContemporary Justice Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2017


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