The category of animals, materially and discursively, is seldom highlighted in texts on human relations although this category may be read as playing a significant role for the argumentation. In this essay, an animal-centred interpretation of Aristotle’s theory on natural slavery forms a background for reading texts by the author and activist Olympe de Gouges (1748-1793). During the French revolution, de Gouges, using references to animals and nature, defended especially two categories of humans excluded from citizenship: strangers/people of colour and women. Here, this discourse is read as opposed to the antique definition of the fully worthy human/citizen and as a contribution to a non-colonialist humanism which, with de Gouges as its messenger, was punished with the very means it sought to abolish: violence and killing.

Keywords: anthro-androcentrism, animals, fully worthy human/citizen, non-violence, the death penalty