Valéry Giroux

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Valéry Giroux
Giroux in 2018
Born (1974-03-24) 24 March 1974 (age 50)
Quebec, Canada[1]
EducationUniversité de Montréal (LL.B., 1997; LL.M., 2003, Ph.D., 2012)[2]
Occupation(s)Philosopher, lawyer, activist

Valéry Giroux (born 24 March 1974) is a Canadian philosopher, lawyer and animal rights activist from Quebec. She is an adjunct professor at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Law, associate director for the Centre de recherche en éthique ("Ethics Research Center"), a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and an author and speaker on animal ethics issues and veganism, with a notable focus on the topic of antispeciesism through her co-editorship of the antispeciesist journal L'Amorce. Her philosophy argues for the equal moral consideration of all sentient beings, objects to the ethical notion that the utilization of non-human animals by humans as being morally permissible, and advocates for the individual right to freedom for all sentient beings, regardless of their species, emphasizing negative or republican freedom over positive freedom.

Education and career[edit]

After obtaining a bachelors degree in law from the Université de Montréal (UdeM) in 1997, Giroux became a member of the Bar of Quebec in 2001.[3] From an interest in issues surrounding animal rights, she studied for a master's degree in law at UdeM, with a thesis on a project to reform the cruelty to animals offences of the Canadian Criminal Code.[4] She then undertook doctoral studies in philosophy at the UdeM and devoted her doctoral thesis, which was supervised by Christine Tappolet, to the extension of the most fundamental human rights to all sentient beings; the thesis, the first in Quebec in animal ethics, was published in book form by Éditions L'Âge d'Homme in 2017.[5]

Giroux is an adjunct professor at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Law. She is also associate director for the Centre de recherche en éthique ("Ethics Research Center") and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.[6] She is the author of the book Contre l'exploitation animale ("Against Animal Exploitation")[7] and the co-author, with Renan Larue, of the book Le Véganisme ("Veganism") in the PUF editorial collection "Que sais-je?" ("What do I know?)[8] and a book in the same collection, L'antispécisme ("Antispeciesism").[9] Giroux is regularly invited to speak to the media on issues relating to animal ethics.[4] She is co-editor of the French-language journal L'Amorce ("The Primer") which focuses on antispeciesism.[10]


Giroux's philosophy is antispeciesist, in that she argues against discriminating against sentient beings because they lack human species membership. She furthermore asserts that cognitive capacity, or lack thereof, has no moral relevance, stating "[y]ou can't use these characteristics to place more or less value on individuals; the proof is that we do not grant more fundamental rights to the most intelligent human beings."[11]

Giroux is opposed to welfarism, the idea that it is ethically permissible for humans to use non-human animals, considering herself to be an abolitionist when it comes to animal rights.[12] She opposes Alasdair Cochrane's position on the right to freedom of non-human animals, for whom animals have only an interest in being free when the absence of freedom is the cause of suffering for them. Conversely, Giroux maintains that the interest in being free from all sentient agents (human or nonhuman) is of the same nature. This is at least the case, according to her, as soon as one abandons the concept of positive freedom (being the ultimate master of one's will and actions) in favor of that of negative freedom (not being subjected to external constraints) or of republican freedom (not to be subjected to domination). And this interest to be free, she argues, must be protected by the individual right to freedom for all sentient beings, whether they belong to humanity or not.[13]


In 2018, Giroux received the 1st Prize for the Research Professionals Excellence award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).[14]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Contre l'exploitation animale ("Against Animal Exploitation"; Éditions L'Âge d'Homme, 2017) ISBN 2825147001, 978-2825147009
  • with Émilie Dardenne and Enrique Utria. Peter Singer et la libération animale. Quarante ans plus tard ("Peter Singer and animal liberation. Forty years later"; Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2017) ISBN 275355255X, 978-2753552555
  • with Renan Larue. Le Véganisme ("Veganism"; PUF, 2017) ISBN 213074947X, 978-2130749479
  • L'antispécisme ("Antispeciesism"; PUF, 2020) ASIN B086MD53G5
  • edited with Angie Pepper and Kristin Voigt. The Ethics of Animal Shelters (Oxford University Press, 2023) ISBN 9780197678640


  1. ^ "Valery Giroux (auteur de L'antispécisme)". Babelio (in French). Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  2. ^ "Valéry Giroux Curriculum Vitae". Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  3. ^ "Valéry Giroux". Département de philosophie - Université de Montréal (in French). Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  4. ^ a b "Dr Valéry Giroux, PhD". Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. 2015-09-01. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  5. ^ "Valéry Giroux". Centre de recherche en éthique (in French). 2007-01-02. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  6. ^ "Valéry Giroux". HuffPost Québec (in French). Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  7. ^ Mosna-Savoye, Géraldine (2018-12-06). "Sensibiliser à la cause animale" [Raise awareness of the animal cause]. France Culture (in French). Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  8. ^ Bidaud, Samuel (December 2019). "Le Véganisme de Valéry Giroux et Renan Larue" [The Veganism of Valéry Giroux and Renan Larue]. Esprit Presse (in French). Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  9. ^ "Qu'est-ce que le spécisme?" [What is speciesism?]. Carenews. 2020-08-28. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  10. ^ "L'Amorce, un projet collectif". L’Amorce (in Canadian French). 2018-06-24. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  11. ^ Letarte, Martine (2020-04-18). "Et si on mettait fin à l'exploitation des animaux?" [What if we put an end to the exploitation of animals?]. Le Devoir. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  12. ^ Allard, Marie (2012-05-21). "Bien-être animal: la montée du welfarisme" [Animal welfare: the rise of welfarism]. La Presse. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  13. ^ Goffi, Jean-Yves (2018). "Valéry Giroux, Contre l'exploitation animale. Un argument pour les droits fondamentaux de tous les êtres sensibles, Lausanne, L'Âge d'Homme, 2017, 515 pages". Philosophiques (in French). 45 (1): 295–302. doi:10.7202/1048629ar. ISSN 0316-2923.
  14. ^ "The Research Professionals Excellence Awards - Fonds Société et culture". FRQSC - Gouvernement du Québec. Retrieved 2020-08-29.

External links[edit]