Saturday, September 21, 2013

Social justice and animal liberation: a few resources

There seems to be some confusion in the secular social-justice community concerning the relationship between feminism and animal liberation, and what feminist vegans and animal liberation advocates are really arguing, so I’d like to offer a few recommendations.

My first recommendation is simply that people acknowledge the possibility that they might be ignorant about the reality of the oppression and exploitation of other animals and about the animal liberation movement. It seems many people are, admirably, willing to admit that they have a lot to learn from the experiences and perspectives of other oppressed humans and their liberation movements. This same humility doesn’t seem to characterize the responses to attempts to inform about other animals and the animal liberation movement.

More specific recommendations (these are of course a tiny sample):

Generally, and not specific to the social justice connection, I recommend Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals

For people with a genuine interest in understanding how animal liberation fits with, and really is essential to, feminism and all social justice movements, I recommend:

• John Sanbonmatsu, ed., Critical Theory and Animal Liberation

• Carol Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-vegetarian Critical Theory

• David A. Nibert, Animal Oppression and Human Violence: Domesecration, Capitalism and Global Conflict

• and the blog Vegan Feminist Agitator

None of these sources is perfect. As with my recommendations for critical and political-humanist-liberation psychology, I’m not suggesting that people read them uncritically. Only fairly. Hell, just read them.

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