Animals, Disability, and the End of Capitalism

Voices from the Eco-ability Movement

by Anthony J. Nocella II (Volume editor) Amber E. George (Volume editor) John Lupinacci (Volume editor)
©2019 Textbook XVI, 128 Pages


Animals, Disability, and the End of Capitalism is a collection of essays from the leaders in the field of eco-ability. The book is rooted in critical pedagogy, inclusive education, and environmental education. The efforts of diverse disability activists work to weave together the complex diversity and vastly overlooked interconnections among nature, ability, and animals. Eco-ability challenges social constructions, binaries, domination, and normalcy. Contributors challenge the concepts of disability, animal, and nature in relation to human and man. Eco-ability stresses the interdependent relationship among everything and how the effect of one action such as the extinction of a species in Africa can affect the ecosystem in Northern California. Animals, Disability, and the End of Capitalism is timely and offers important critical insight from within the growing movement and the current academic climate for such scholarship. The book also provides insights and examples of radical experiences, pedagogical projects, and perspectives shaped by critical animal studies, critical environmental studies, and critical disability studies.
Contributors include Sarah R. Adams, Marissa Anderson, Judy K. C. Bentley, Mary Fantaske, Amber E. George, Ava HaberkornHalm, John Lupinacci, Hannah Monroe, Anthony J. Nocella II, Nicole R. Pallotta, Meneka Repka, and Daniel Salomon.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Praise for Animals, Disability, and the End of Capitalism
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword (Judy K.C. Bentley)
  • Introduction: Defending and Sharing Space and Place for Eco-ability Voices for Total Liberation (Anthony J. Nocella II / Amber E. George / John Lupinacci)
  • 1. Critical Animal Studies and the Importance of Anti-Racist and Anti-Ableist Politics (Anthony J. Nocella II / Amber E. George / John Lupinacci / Meneka Repka)
  • 2. The Interdependency of Humans and Nature: A Plea for Ecopedagogy and Eco-ability Activism (Sarah R. Adams)
  • 3. From Collective Autism to Autistic Wildness (Daniel Salomon)
  • 4. I Fled to the Wilderness and Was Surprised by Enlightenment (Daniel Salomon)
  • 5. Post-Structural Analyses of Conformity and Oppression: A Discussion of Critical Animal Studies and Neurodiversity (Hannah Monroe)
  • 6. Giving a Face to the Nameless Numbers (Mary Fantaske)
  • 7. Reframing Companion Animal Disability Using the Social Model: Removing Barriers and Facilitating Care (Nicole R. Pallotta)
  • 8. Seeding Ableism (Ava Haberkornhalm)
  • 9. Dealing with Trauma Holistically: Introducing Eco-ability Liberatory Therapy (Marissa Anderson)
  • Contributors
  • Index
  • Series index

← viii | ix →



John, Amber, and Anthony would like to thank all the contributors of this book, as well as Carmen Dell’Aversano, Jovian Parry, Rasmus Rahbek Simonsen, Daniel Salomon, Zach Richter, Sunaura Taylor, Amy J. Fitzgerald, Lauren Corman, Matthew Ross Calarco, Maneesha Dechha, Amie Breeze Harper, Erika Cudworth, Kathryn Asher, Elizabeth Cherry, Carmen Cusack, Claudia Serrato, Adam J. Fix, and A. O. Owoseni. We would like to thank everyone with the amazing and outstanding Peter Lang Publishing, especially Sarah, Tim, Chris, and Sophie. We would also like to thank Judy K.C. Bentley for her Foreword and dedication to helping develop the field of eco-ability and critical animal studies. Without her support and involvement in the Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS), it would not be where it is today. We would also like to thank the ICAS and everyone with and supportive of ICAS—Lara Drew, Carolyn Drew, Sean Parson, Ian Purdy, Carol Mendoza, Mari Anderson, Richard White, Erik Juergensmeyer, Judy K. C. Bentley, Janet Duncan, Mecke Nagel, Peter McLaren, Richard Kahn, Sinem Ketenci, JL Schatz, Scott Hurley, Helena Pedersen, Vasile Stănescu, Stephanie Eccles, Kaden Maguire, Mara Pfeffer, Jess Ison, Les Mitchell, Aragorn Eloff, John Sorenson, John Alessio, Julie Andrzejewski, Sarah Smith, Colleen Mollentze, Luis Cordeiro-Rodrigues, Andrea Marais-Potgieter, Jörg Hartmann, Carlos García, Daniela Romero Waldorn, Alexandra Navarro, María Marta Andreatta, Gabriela Anahí González, Cassiana Lopes Stephan, Eduardo Rincón Higuer, Iván Darío Ávila Gaitán, Fernando Bottom, Colin Salter, Samuel León Martínez, Ariadna Beiroz, Andrea Padilla Villarraga, Carlos Andrés Moreno Urán, Bogna Konior, Sara Tsui, rocky Schwartz, Daniel Frank, and Terry Hurtado. We would also like to thank Save the Kids, Poetry Behind the Walls, Wisdom Behind the Walls, Institute for Hip Hop Activism, Outdoor Empowerment, Peace Studies Journal, Transformative Justice Journal, Green ← ix | x → Theory and Praxis Journal, Total Liberation Working Group at Northern Arizona University, Department of Sociology at Fort Lewis College, Eco-ability Collective, Durango Peace and Justice, Durango Hip Hop, National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth, Arissa Media Group, POPS Movement, FLC Black Student Union, FLC Sociology Club, FLC Criminology Club, Durango ADAPT, Durango Animal Liberation, Durango Veg Fest, Chris Mendoza, Kim Socha, David Gabbard, Becky Clausen, Keri Brandt, Mark Seis, Janine Fitzgerald, Kate Smith, Carey Vicenti, FLC Environmental Studies, FLC Education Program, FLC Peace and Conflict Studies, FLC Gender and Women’s Studies, Carolina Alonso, Kathy Fine, Emily Houghton, Michael Martin, Janneli Miller, Cory Pillen, Sarah Roberts-Cady, Amy Sellin, Natasha Tidwell, Laurel Baldwin, Dawn Widen, and Michael Fry. We would also like to thank most importantly our families. John would like to acknowledge the human and nonhuman members of his family, the students and faculty in the Cultural Studies and Social Thought program at Washington State University, the radical activists sacrificing life and freedom for liberation, and all of the radical activist-educators fighting in classrooms and communities to abolishing normalcy. Amber would like to thank her friends, family her husband Jacob Gindi, children Aviva, Ezra, and Isabelle, and cats Abby and Simi and everyone in ICAS.

← x | xi →




The academic discipline of disability studies in education began with a critical analysis of traditional “special” education, fueled by emotional confrontation and courageous scrutiny of so-called “inclusive” practices in our public schools. After a decade of exposing and actively contesting the re-segregation of students with disabilities by labeling, low expectations, and “special” segregated classes, disability studies scholar-activists have established a liberatory movement that is changing the way we teach and learn. While we need further exploration of the likely influence of disability studies on changes in attitude, understanding and quest for true belonging of students with other discriminated differences in our education system—and while their belonging is currently challenged even more in the current push for school “choice”—the movement and its goals are strong and effective.

The Eco-ability movement began with a conversation I had with Anthony Nocella about disability studies in education, and how its context had sometimes been misinterpreted to re-segregate and re-oppress the individuals it was meant to empower. Various academic departments and professional conferences seemed at that time to “specialize” in disability, and attempt to “own” it, so that it was deemed inappropriate for other departments to study and share knowledge about disability as a lived experience. Disability studies faculty were often called on merely to supply the “disability angle” (too often misconstrued as a deficit-based medical model) in a conversation, presentation, or manuscript. With a desire to communicate the real mission and vision of disability studies in education, we agreed that the word “ability” was more descriptive of the (dis)ability studies movement, free from the existential and semantic “dis” that held it down.

Deficit labeling, low expectations, segregation, and the damage they can do are not unique to disability. The same misguided and oppressive ← xi | xii → constructs affect all human and nonhuman animals, and the environment as well. This perspective led us to apply the concept of “intersectionality,” (Crenshaw, 1991), the idea that oppressive paradigms (personal and environmental racism, ableism, sexism, speciesism) are interrelated, and must not be analyzed apart from one another.

With the publication of Earth, Animal and Disability Liberation: The Rise of the Eco-Ability Movement (2012), Eco-ability became a movement and a nascent field of academic study. New voices and new disciplines were invited to collaborate in an intersectional exchange of information and experience and a call for social justice. Eco-ability promotes a social justice theory and movement that deconstructs “normalcy,” troubles hierarchies of “worth,” and fosters mutual interdependence, collaboration, and respect for difference, in a fully inclusive world.

Quite soon, scholar-activists Colin Salter, Amber George, and J. L. Schatz joined us to produce subsequent volumes: Animals and War: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Animal Complex (2014), Screening the Nonhuman: Representations of Animal Others in the Media (2016), and The Intersectionality of Critical Animal, Disability, and Environmental Studies: Toward Eco-ability, Justice and Liberation (2017).

This book, Animal, Disability, and Earth Liberation Activists for Total Liberation: Voices from the Eco-ability Movement propels and exemplifies the core values of the Eco-ability movement, with a focus on activism. The editors—Anthony Nocella, Amber George and John Lupinacci—have assembled a community of bright and committed new scholars, with fresh ideas and an unwavering commitment to advocacy for change. Animal, Disability, and Earth Liberation Activists for Total Liberation: Voices from the Eco-ability Movement is their first published work. They are nearly all vegans; and they bring lived experience with social injustice and (dis)ability to their remarkable and deeply personal stories.


XVI, 128
ISBN (Softcover)
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2019 (March)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Vienna, Oxford, Wien, 2019. XVI, 128 pp.

Biographical notes

Anthony J. Nocella II (Volume editor) Amber E. George (Volume editor) John Lupinacci (Volume editor)

Anthony J. Nocella II, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Salt Lake Community College. He has published over fifty peer-reviewed book chapters or articles and over forty books. He is the editor of the Peace Studies Journal and Executive Director of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies. Amber E. George, Ph.D., is a scholar-activist who taught at Misericordia University, and currently teaches philosophy at Galen College. Dr. George is a member of the Eco-ability Collective and Executive Director of Finance of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies. She is also the editor of the Journal of Critical Animal Studies. John Lupinacci, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor at Washington State University, where he teaches in the Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education (CSSTE) program. His work examines the relationships between schools and the reproduction of the cultural roots of social suffering and environmental degradation.


Title: Animals, Disability, and the End of Capitalism
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146 pages