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The future of animals in tourism recreation: Social media as spaces of collective moral reflexivity

Mkono, Mucha; Holder, Afiya


Mucha Mkono


Over the last few years, a number of high profile incidents involving animals in tourism recreation contexts have sparked heated animal welfare debate on a global scale, giving rise to ethical movements mediated by various online platforms. This study applies a Critical Animal Studies approach and draws on the cases of the killings of Cecil the lion, Marius the Giraffe, Harambe the Gorilla, and Xanda (Cecil's cub) to analyse the role of digital movements and moral reflexivity in shaping the future of animals in tourism recreation spaces. We conceive of social media as digital spaces of Collective Moral Reflexivity (CMR) which signal heightened public engagement in human-animal recreational ethics. Findings highlight animal ethics in this context as a discursively evolving social construction, but one on which the public increasingly expects a more robust and compassionate ethical model of operation from the animal recreation industry.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 7, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 12, 2018
Publication Date 2019-01
Deposit Date Feb 9, 2023
Journal Tourism Management Perspectives
Print ISSN 2211-9736
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Pages 1-8
Keywords Animal ethics, Trophy hunting, Social movements, Cyberactivism, Animal studies