Aristotle got a book contract for his multi-volume study of organisms and their organization.
The Neo-Platonist philosopher Porphyry publishes an early vegetarian treatise and dreams of fried tofu with garlic. Mmm.
Rene Descartes publishes his philosophy of animals—they're mere machines, according to R.D.
Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham publishes his argument that what matters is not whether animals can think but if can they feel. This distinction—between thought and feeling—and Bentham's attempt to flip the terms of the debate on Descartes reverberates in animal studies debates even today. Can you feel it?
Charles Darwin publishes his first book on evolution—those animal machines are our cousins!
A society founded by animal welfarists to argue against the use of animals in scientific experiments—the founders included many early feminists in Britain, including Frances Power Cobbe. Power to the People (and to the Critters)!
In 1975 Peter Singer publishes his famous, utilitarian argument for "liberating" animals: that we as a society should not use for them clothes, food, etc. The text was seen by many as the beginning of a new, popular animal rights movement. Pass the Tofurkey, please.
John Berger publishes his super-important essay in his book About Looking. It is an early example of a thinker asking critical questions about how we look at animals (bet you figured that one out!) and the animal gaze in art, literature, and real life.
Carol Adams publishes her groundbreaking book linking depictions of female and animal bodies, bringing a feminist critique to questions of animals. Turns out that that advertisement featuring a lady wrapped in bacon is pretty messed up! An (in)famous PETA ad featuring a Baywatch-era Pam Anderson highlighted this: we objectify both animals and women.
Jacques Derrida feels self-conscious standing naked in front of his cat and then gives a series of lectures that begin with that experience. Cats always do give pretty judgy looks, don't they? In the book he declares that deconstruction has always had animals and animality at its center—and no, he's not just talking about butchers "deconstructing" animals.
South-African novelist, Nobel Prize Winner J.M. Coetzee (and loud n' proud veggie) is invited to give a lecture at Princeton University. Instead of giving a straightforward essay like a normal person, he wrote and read this short novella to the crowd like a genius—distancing himself from the arguments his authorial stand-in, Elizabeth Costello, makes regarding our use of animals.
Donna Haraway publishes her short pamphlet, in part responding to feminists who argue that we should never put animals to any use. Haraway's dog and the star of the book, Cayenne Pepper (d'awww, what a good name), becomes a theory celebrity overnight and threatens to find another companion theorist if her royalties are not paid in full.
Massive literature and environment conference (literature nerds talking about nature and animals, a.k.a. our dream vacation) held at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Panels on animals and animal studies were numerous and very present, and we bet there was a rockin' vegetarian spread. Keynote speakers included animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff.
Oh, wait: this is our dream vacay. A large, international conference of animal studies scholars. Minding Animals International is an organization, like ASLE, that is attempting to harness and channel burgeoning interest in the animal studies field (which is way easier than herding cats).