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Education for Total Liberation

Critical Animal Pedagogy and Teaching Against Speciesism


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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6. Intersecting Oppressions: The Animal Industrial Complex and the Educational Industrial Complex (Meneka Repka)


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6.   Intersecting Oppressions: The Animal Industrial Complex and the Educational Industrial Complex



This chapter was inspired by a past issue of the Journal for Critical Animal Studies (Thomas & Shields, 2012), which troubled the links between prisons and animals. I am interested in further expanding this parallel to also include the examination of institutions of education as places where nonhumans and humans intersect. Though many of these ideas could easily extend to postsecondary institutions, I focus here on K-12 (Kindergarten to 12th grade) education in Alberta (Canada), as this is where the bulk of my experiences are drawn from. In this chapter, I understand the animal industrial complex (AIC) as triple helix of influential, powerful systems that control knowledge systems about meat production: government, the corporate sphere, and the academy (Twine, 2012, p. 17). The concept of an AIC was originally put forth by Noske (1989) who proposed that the commodification of nonhuman animals in food systems is directly linked to capitalist systems that prioritize “monopolistically inclined financial interests” over the well-being of humans, nonhumans, and the environment (p. 22). Twine (2012) expands on Noske’s work, explaining that “corporate influences have had a direct interest through marketing, advertising, and pecia manipulation in constructing the consumption of animal products as a sensual material pleasure” (p. 15). Similarly, the educational industrial complex revolves around ideology, profit, and technology as the three central components that organizations and agencies...

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