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Defining Critical Animal Studies

An Intersectional Social Justice Approach for Liberation


Edited By 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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Afterword: From Animal Oppression to Animal Liberation: A Historical Reflection and the Growth of Critical Animal Studies: Karen Davis


← 220 | 221 → AFTERWORD

From Animal Oppression to Animal Liberation

A Historical Reflection and the Growth of Critical Animal Studies

Karen Davis

After we met as hunt saboteurs in the mid-1980s, I had a conversation with a fellow animal rights activist who said, “Ten years ago when I started doing this, I thought we’d end sport hunting in no time. I thought reason would prevail. It seemed so obvious.” Likewise, philosopher Peter Singer, whose 1975 book Animal Liberation sparked the modern animal rights movement, told a group of us in the 1990s that in the early 1970s when he was working on the book, “My expectation ranged all the way from having mass support for goals such as getting rid of factory farming. But that hasn’t happened.”

Decades later, our campaigns against factory farming and sport hunting continue, along with all of our other campaigns to liberate nonhuman animals from human oppression. We stopped the Hegins Pigeon Shoot in Pennsylvania in the 1990s, but Pennsylvania gun clubs continue to round up and shoot tens of thousands of pigeons each year purely for fun. Thus far, efforts to prohibit these sadistic massacres have failed in the state legislature even though pigeon shoots are illegal under the state anticruelty law. The 7.5 billion chickens slaughtered annually for food in the United States in the mid-1990s has climbed to 9 billion, and analysts predict that the number of farm animals slaughtered on a global...

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