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Education for Total Liberation

Critical Animal Pedagogy and Teaching Against Speciesism

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Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II, Carolyn Drew, Amber E. George, Sinem Ketenci, John Lupinacci, Ian Purdy and Joe Leeson-Schatz

Education for Total Liberation is a collection of essays from leaders in the field of critical animal pedagogy (CAP). CAP emerges from activist educators teaching critical animal studies and is rooted in critical theory as well as the animal advocacy movement. Critical animal studies (CAS) argues for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding our relationships with nonhuman animals. CAS challenges two specific fields of theory: (1) animal studies, rooted in vivisection and testing on animals in the hard sciences and (2) human-animal studies, which reinforces a socially constructed binary between humans and animals and adopts abstract theoretical approaches. In contrast, CAS takes a progressive and committed approach to scholarship and sees the exploitation of nonhuman animals as interrelated with oppression of humans based on class, gender, race, ability, sexuality, age, and citizenship. CAS promotes the liberation of all animals and challenges all systems of domination. Education for Total Liberation is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate level readers (and beyond) who wish to learn from examples of radical pedagogical projects shaped by CAS and critical pedagogy.

Contributing to this collection are Anne C. Bell, Anita de Melo, Carolyn Drew, Amber E. George, Karin Gunnarsson Dinker, Sinem Ketenci, John Lupinacci, Anthony J. Nocella II, Sean Parson, Helena Pedersen, Ian Purdy, Constance L. Russell, J.L. Schatz, Meneka Repka, William E. Shanahan III, and Richard J, White.

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1. Unmasking the Animal Liberation Front Using Critical Pedagogy: Seeing the ALF for Who They Really Are (Anthony J. Nocella II)

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1.   Unmasking the Animal Liberation Front Using Critical Pedagogy: Seeing the ALF for Who They Really Are*

ANTHONY J. NOCELLA II

The current global political climate is steeped in fear and rhetoric about terrorism and security. The 21st century began with drastic shifts in U.S. policies in the name of national security, which has been used as a cover for the repression of nonviolent dissent and the violation of civil liberties. We have entered a neo-McCarthyist period rooted in witch hunts against activists and critics of the ruling elites. The terms and players have changed, but the situation is much the same as in the 1950s: the terrorist threat usurps the communist threat, Attorney General John Ashcroft dons the garb of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and the Congressional Meetings on Eco-Terrorism stand in for the House Un-American Activities Committee (Best & Nocella, 2004). Now as then, the government informs the public that the nation is in a permanent state of danger, such that security, not freedom, must become our overriding concern. As before, the state conjures up dangerous enemies everywhere, not only outside our country but, more menacingly, ensconced within our borders, lurking in radical cells. The alleged dangers posed by foreign terrorists are used to justify the attack on “domestic terrorists” within, and in a hysterical climate the domestic terrorist is any and every citizen expressing dissent.

These changes have occurred as recent as U.S. President Bush illegally...

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