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Defining Critical Animal Studies

An Intersectional Social Justice Approach for Liberation


Anthony J. Nocella II, John Sorenson, Kim Socha and Atsuko Matsuoka

This is the first book to define the philosophical and practical parameters of critical animal studies (CAS). Rooted in anarchist perspectives that oppose all systems of domination and authoritarianism, CAS both challenges anthropocentrism and presents animal liberation as a social justice movement that intersects with other movements for positive change. Written by a collection of internationally respected scholar-activists, each chapter expands upon the theory and practice underlying the total liberation approach, the roles of academics and activists, and the ten principles of CAS. With apolitical animal studies and exploitative animal research dominating higher education, this book offers a timely counter-narrative that demands the liberation of all oppressed beings and the environment. Defining Critical Animal Studies will interest educators, students, activists, community members, and policy makers seeking accessible theory that can be put into action.
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9 From the Classroom to the Slaughterhouse: Animal Liberation by Any Means Necessary Jennifer Grubbs and Michael Loadenthal


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From the Classroom to the Slaughterhouse

Animal Liberation by Any Means Necessary

Jennifer Grubbs and Michael Loadenthal

The advancement of a Critical Animal Pedagogy (CAP) is predicated on the examination and eradication of speciesist pedagogies. Academics who challenge these oppressive pedagogies are mapped within a spectrum of discourses that examine power and subsequently labeled within a binary of “good scholar–bad scholar.” The hegemonic animal welfarists enjoy the privileges of being the “good academic,” while those who adopt an anti-speciesist methodology and endorse confrontational tactics are rhetorically constructed as the latter. There are those who critique speciesism but do not support direct action, and those who care nothing of the species binary but would illegally remove a dog or cat from an abusive home. Regardless, activists and academics in support of confrontational tactics are constructed as the ideological-other and tactically radical. Similar to the intersectionality of systems of oppression, systems of repression intersect at the juncture of academia and activism. The experiences of leftist academics are stratified within neoliberal academic capitalism, the individualistic knowledge-as-commodity corporate university. The political landscape of dissent is manipulated through the architecture of industry-sponsored legislation. Thus, the ghettoization (symbolically and respectfully referring to the removal and isolation of Jews to an island in Venice called Ghèto) of Critical Animal Studies (CAS) scholars coincides with the terrorization of animal liberationists. The rhetoric used to redefine “dissent” as “terrorism” in the 2006 U.S. Animal Enterprise Terrorist...

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