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Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies

A Historical Collection

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Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II and Amber E. George

Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection represents the very best that the internationally scholarly Journal for Critical Animal Studies (JCAS) has published in terms of articles that are written by public critical scholar-activists-organizers for public critical scholar-activists-organizers. This move toward publishing pieces about engaging social change, rather than high-theoretical detached analysis of nonhuman animals in society, is to regain focus for liberation at all costs. The essays in this collection focus on intersectionality scholarship within the realm of Critical Animal Studies, and discuss issues related to race, gender, disability, class, and queerness. Not only are these articles historically significant within the field of Critical Animal Studies, but they are integral to the overall social justice movement. Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection should be read by anyone interested in the Critical Animal Studies field, as we consider them to be classic writings that should be respected as foundational texts. There are many interesting and innovative texts, but these are historical, not only because they were published in JCAS, but because they were among the first to publish on a particular intersectional issue.

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Chapter Three: A Queer Vegan Manifesto (Rasmus Rahbek Simonsen)

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CHAPTER THREE

A Queer Vegan Manifesto

RASMUS RAHBEK SIMONSEN

 

In his article “History of Male Homosexuality,” David Halperin proposes that simple sexual object choice—what he sees as an “exercise in erotic connoisseurship” (2000, p. 98)—in late antiquity and medieval contexts did not correspond to an expression of sexuality as such, at least not in the way we understand it today; indeed, “it [was] more like vegetarianism than homosexuality” (p. 98). In this circumstance, we can deduce that, by way of comparison, vegetarianism can have ethical or aesthetic provenance, but it does not “necessarily function…as a marker of difference” (p. 98). Now, Halperin’s immediate focus is not vegetarianism, and I do not wish to enlist him as a straw man for my argument; rather, my aim is to promote vegetarianism as a viable topic of inquiry for Queer Studies. Since, historically, deviating from eating meat has carefully been tied to the discursive production of masculinity—and not simply in terms of aberration or one’s momentary preference for a certain food object—vegetarianism (and more apposite my essay, veganism) comes to constitute a set of gendered acts that are linked to the whole of what signifies as male (and female), which certainly includes sexuality. In other words, vegetarianism and veganism are much more complex than what Halperin’s casual simile would otherwise indicate.

In this essay, I will thus ask the following: What does it mean...

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