‘If this was a human…’: Pets, vets and medicine

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The television documentary series The Supervet (Channel 4, 2014–) follows the eponymous Noel Fitzpatrick as he carries out experimental surgery on animals seemingly beyond help. This article examines the series in order to explore how this programme depicts animal medicine. Drawing on animal studies approaches, it argues that the programme foregrounds the humans rather than the animals, and, in its focus on surgery, legitimizes humans’ dominance of other species. In doing so, it argues that television’s representational strategies struggle with offering depictions that are not human centred.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-256
JournalCritical Studies in Television
Issue number2
Early online date22 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • television
  • animals
  • vets
  • biopower
  • medicine
  • animal studies

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