inspiration / literature
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Anarchism & animal rights. Book: Making a Killing (Bob Torres)

Enjoyed reading this book! I had previously read Vegan Freak from Bob and Jenna Torres, which was a very easy read, and more tongue in cheek. This book is totally different, more academic, about the connections between the oppression of humans and other animals, and on how anarchist and anti-capitalist theory can/should inform the animal rights movement.
I would have loved to read more from Bob Torres, but after the termination of their very popular podcast and blog ‘Vegan Freak’ in 2009, he has not published any more on issues of animal rights and seems to have disappeared from public life.

Front cover of Making a Killing, Bob Torres

Some quotes with food for thought:

p.122 “Structured as any other form of oppression, speciesism is more than a mere form of discrimination or prejudice, instead […] it has structural causes that are rooted in mutually constitutive economic, ideological, and sociocultural practices. While an anti-speciesist necessarily does not consume animals, that is not enough action to overcome the deeply rooted processes that produce vast inequality.
Instead, what is needed is a movement that radically challenges meaningless hierarchy and domination at all levels of the social order and recognizes the mutual life that we all share. Social anarchism offers just the foundation for such a movement in both theory and praxis.”

p. 137 ” For veganism to mean anything at all, it must be more than lifestyle politics and expensive consumer trinkets produced without animal cruelty; it must be part of an integrative movement that seeks affinity with other causes promoting justice, and it must reach out to communities that would not normally consider veganism”

p. 141 On Empowerment:
“If donating money and becoming a “member” of some organisations is the only kind of “activism” that people see as viable, meaningful activism, in turn, becomes nothing more than a consumer actvity.

“We will never overcome the current domination of animals and the ecosystem unless we are able to overcome the domination that we excercise over one another”.

Bob Torres (2007) Making a Killing. The Political Economy of Animal Rights.
keywords #anticapitalism #socialanarchism#speciesism #commodification#property #labour #intersections

Taken from amazon:

Suggest to the average leftist that animals should be part of broader liberation struggles and—once they stop laughing—you’ll find yourself casually dismissed. With a focus on labor, property, and the life of commodities, Making a Killing contains key insights into the broad nature of domination, power, and hierarchy. It explores the intersections between human and animal oppressions in relation to the exploitative dynamics of capitalism. Combining nuts-and-bolts Marxist political economy, a pluralistic anarchist critique, as well as a searing assessment of the animal rights movement, Bob Torres challenges conventional anti-capitalist thinking and convincingly advocates for the abolition of animals in industry—and on the dinner plate.
Making A Killing is sure to spark wide debate in the animal rights and anarchist movements for years to come.


I have been adding some books that have been inspirational to me to an album on my facebookaccount, and I will be adding them here as well. Some are books that I have read a long time ago, some are more recent works.
I also want to note that it’s not because a book is featured here, that I agree with everything that is written in it . Or that I find all books equally good!

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