Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Judith Prowda

Second Advisor

Eric Wolf


Very little attention has been directed towards the ethics of using animals in art. Aside from public protests and petitions from animal rights organizations, a discussion about abusive behavior towards animals in exhibitions should be introduced in the mainstream art world. For the Sake of Art: The Intersection Between Animal Rights and Freedom of Speech is a research study about the presence of animal cruelty in the art world and lack of legal and ethical regulations established in order to prevent suffering. There is a long history of animals in artwork and this thesis will explore many cases, both court and non-court cases, that prove mistreatment is an issue. Harming an animal for any purpose is unjust, and impeding on First Amendment rights is unconstitutional. Without violating rights of freedom of speech, this research aims to identify the line between artistic expression and animal cruelty in the art world, and suggest ways in which this controversial topic can be improved.