Eugenics and Animal Science

Two Birds of a Feather or a Horse of a Different Color


  • Will Alexander


This article analyzes the relationship between animal science and the eugenics movement in the United States. It covers the eugenics movement in the early twentieth century. The article begins with a brief explanation of the importance of animal science, especially selective breeding, in the course of human history. It describes influential scientists whose work was embraced by eugenicists. It focuses on animal science techniques and applications embraced by the eugenicists and were later applied, at least theoretically, to human beings. The article concentrates on the close relationship between the eugenics movement and the Animal Breeders  Association in the United States. It shows how eugenicists were heavily influenced by animal science and how they believed that these practices could effectively be carried out on humans. This article also focuses on some of the flaws in the eugenicists’ application of these techniques to humans. In short, this article is an attempt at highlighting the influence and association animal science had and continued to have on the American eugenics movement during the early twentieth century.