From a largely Western phenomenon, the “animal turn” has, in recent years, gone global. Animals and Human Society in Asia: Historical, Cultural and Ethical Perspectives is just such a timely product that testifies to this trend.

But why Asia? The editors, in their very helpful overview essay, have from the outset justified the volume's focus on Asia and ensured that this is not simply a matter of lacuna filling. The reasons they set out include: the fact that Asia is the cradle of early human settlement and animal domestication; Asia encompasses an extreme diversity of closely connected ecosystems and human cultures; Asia is the place where the world's major religions originated; and, as in other parts of the world, Asia's use of animals for food and other utilitarian purposes constitutes a prominent feature of its culture. All of these factors, they argue, made Asia a unique lab for the exploration...

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