Sue Coe: The Trial of Bill Burns. Copyright Sue Coe, 2022

The passage of Martin’s Act both expanded and delimited the interests and rights of nonhuman animals. It sanctioned—that ambiguous word that means both “to forbid” and “to allow”—(some) cruelty against (some) animals by (some) people. So, what legal, political, and social lessons can we take from its passage? Three of them are examined in this episode: small legislative wins are difficult to repeal; those who commit crimes won’t legislate against them; and how the idea of “emancipation” underpins so many narratives from this era. We also look to the future: hearing from those working within Afrofuturism and Long-Termism, and across art forms, to create a vision from today to 2050. And we foreshadow the activists, scholars, and artists from political and social activism of the hundred 150 years from 1866 to 2016: the vegetarian and, ultimately, vegan activists who will feature in the next series of audio documentaries.

Advancing animal advocacy through intellectual and artistic expression