Valéry Giroux

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Valéry Giroux
Valéry Giroux.jpg
Born (1974-03-24) March 24, 1974 (age 47)
Quebec, Canada
OccupationPhilosopher, lawyer, activist

Valéry Giroux (born 24 March 1974)[1] is a Canadian philosopher, lawyer and animal rights activist from Quebec. She is an associate professor at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Law and at the Department of Philosophy and Applied Ethics at the Université de Sherbrooke. Giroux is also coordinator for the Centre de recherche en éthique ("Ethics Research Center") and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.[2] She is the author of the book Contre l'exploitation animale ("Against Animal Exploitation")[3] 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?)[4] and has a forthcoming book in the same collection, L'antispécisme ("Antispeciesism").[5] Giroux is regularly invited to speak to the media on issues relating to animal ethics.[6]


After obtaining her law degree from the Université de Montréal in 1997, Giroux became a member of the Bar of Quebec in 2001.[7] Out of interest in issues surrounding animal rights, she began a master's degree in law at the Université de Montréal, with a thesis on a project to reform the cruelty to animals offences of the Criminal Code.[6] She then undertook doctoral studies in philosophy at the Université de Montréal 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.[8]


Giroux's philosophy is antispeciesist, in that she argues against discriminating against sentient beings because they lack human species membership. She asserts that cognitive capacity, or lack thereof, for antispeciesists 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."[9]

Giroux is opposed to welfarism and considers herself to be an abolitionist when it comes to animal rights.[10] 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 libertarian 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.[11]


In 2018, Giroux received the 1st Prize for the Research Professionals Excellence award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).[12]

Selected works[edit]

  • Contre l'exploitation animale ("Against Animal Exploitation"; Éditions L'Âge d'Homme, 2017)
  • 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)
  • with Renan Larue. Le Véganisme ("Veganism"; PUF, 2017)
  • L'antispécisme ("Antispeciesism"; PUF, 2020)


  1. ^ "Valery Giroux (auteur de L'antispécisme)". Babelio (in French). Retrieved 2021-08-28.
  2. ^ "Valéry Giroux". HuffPost Québec (in French). Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Qu'est-ce que le spécisme?" [What is speciesism?]. Carenews. 2020-08-28. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  6. ^ a b "Dr Valéry Giroux, PhD". Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. 2015-09-01. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  7. ^ "Valéry Giroux". Département de philosophie - Université de Montréal (in French). Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  8. ^ "Valéry Giroux". Centre de recherche en éthique (in French). 2007-01-02. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Allard, Marie (2012-05-21). "Bien-être animal: la montée du welfarisme" [Animal welfare: the rise of welfarism]. La Presse. Retrieved 2020-08-29.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "The Research Professionals Excellence Awards - Fonds Société et culture". FRQSC - Gouvernement du Québec. Retrieved 2020-08-29.

External links[edit]