The Animal Turn

S3E2: Pervasive Captivity with Nicolas Delon

April 19, 2021 Claudia Hirtenfelder Season 3 Episode 2
The Animal Turn
S3E2: Pervasive Captivity with Nicolas Delon
Show Notes Chapter Markers

In this episode Claudia talks to Nicholas Delon about ‘pervasive captivity’. Moving beyond a conception of captivity as only including those ‘behind bars’, they explore the many ways in which ‘the urban’ might operate to make animals captive by limiting their mobility and autonomy. 


Date recorded: 15 March 2021


Nicolas Delon is Assistant Professor or philosophy and environmental studies at New College of Florida. He specializes in animal ethics, with particular interests in moral status and animal agency. He has published on these topics as well as the ethics of killing animals, urban animals, wild animal suffering, and Nietzsche, among other things. He’s currently working on a book project about animals and the moral community of persons. Check out his website ( or connect with him on Twitter (@NicoDelon) 


Claudia (Towne) Hirtenfelder is the founder and host of The Animal Turn. She is a PhD Candidate in Geography and Planning at Queen’s University and is currently undertaking her own research project looking at the geographical and historical relationships between animals (specifically cows) and cities. Contact Claudia via email ( or follow her on Twitter (@ClaudiaFTowne).


Featured:  The Ethics of Captivity and Entangled Empathy by Lori Gruen; The Global Pigeon  and How Pigeons became Rats by Colin Jerolmack; Pervasive Captivity and Urban Wildlife by Nicholas Delon 


Thank you to Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics (A.P.P.L.E) for sponsoring this podcast, Gordon Clarke (Instagram: @_con_sol_) for the bed music, and Jeremy John (Website) for the logo. 


The Animal Turn is part of the  iROAR, an Animals Podcasting Network and can also be found on A.P.P.L.E, Twitter, and Instagram

Introduction to the Episode
About Nicolas
Why should we be talking about urban animals?
What is the concept captivity? What does it mean to be captive?
To what extent are any of us really free to do what we want?
Dogs in cities and their captivity
Speaking about captivity in different ways
An example: Birds in Cities
Quote from Colin Jerolmack (The Global Pigeon)
What are you working on now?
The Animal Highlight (Pigeons)
Thank yous