All posts filed under: inspiration / literature

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. 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 …

About criminal animals. E.P. Evans (1906) The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals

I have been adding some books that have been inspirational to me to an album on my facebook account, 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! This is an oldy (1906). Historian E.P Evans gives a detailled account of cases throughout history where animals who had ‘murdered’ or attacked humans, or animal ‘pests’ or infestations, were prosecuted (sometimes even with an appointed lawyer), and when found guilty, executed or excommunicated. I used this book in my doctoral research and wrote a chapter about ‘criminal animals’ in my PhD (2002, Anthopocentrism and Speciesism in Contemporary Criminology). Many people dismiss the prosecution and execution of animals as a bizarre and outdated practice from medieval times. But it is still practiced today, although not formally recognised as such. Other …

Recommended literature: Animal Rights, Human Rights (David Nibert)

I recently read ‘Animal Rights. Human Rights. Entanglements of Oppression and Liberation‘ by David Nibert (2002) and found it truly inspiring. The thesis of the book is that human oppression of other animals is primarily motivated by economic interests, and is profoundly and permanently intertwined with oppression of other humans. The economic forces fueling oppression have intensified with the development of capitalism. The oppression of humans and other animals developed in tandem, each fueling the other. Nibert uses a three fold theory of oppression. This theory explains how oppressions takes place through mutually reinforcing social and economic mechanisms. There are three interactive forces: Economic exploitation, competition. The exploitation of other animals (and humans) is driven by economic forces. The motivation for the development and institutionalization of oppressive practices is primarly material, not attitudinal. Prejudice is the product of these arangements. Not the cause. The importance of power. A powerful elite (pivileged humans) uses political force over the oppressed, and they wield the power of the state. Ideological control. Oppression requires rationalisation and legitimation. Ideologies like …

Why some of us cannot (simply) educate ourselves

Misogyny. Ableism. Ageism. Vystopia. Health-shaming. These are some of the words that I have come to learn more about in recent years. After a long period in which I hardly found the time nor had the energy to follow up any literature closely, I have recently refound a drive and eagerness to pick up some ‘more serious’ stuff again. I have been reading about vegan activism, the sociology of human-animal relations, intersectionality and the entanglement of the oppression of humans with that of other animals. I am also picking up information from discussions in facebook groups, blogs and other online articles. I have looked up terminology that was new to me, discovered new authors, and am trying to work my head around theories and hypotheses. I still have many questions, but I am learning (aren’t we all, always?), helped with feedback provided on online platforms. View this post on Instagram I feel this is a must read for anyone in the animal rights movement, ànd those fighting for human rights. Truly inspirational. It seemed like so …

Some classics in animal advocacy. And juice!

Here are some books that inspired me. And some green juices. I posted this photo earlier on instagram last Summer, but wanted to write some more about it here. It’s about 20 years since I’ve read Peter Singer‘s Animal Liberation (1975 – on the photos is a Dutch version: Dierenbevrijding). This book triggered my interest in animal advocacy and human-animal relations. I think at that time, it had a similar impact on many people like Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals had more recently (both being very accessibly written and reaching a very large audience, and both are translated in so many languages). Although it is not about animal ‘rights’ in the philosophical sense, since it is written from a utilitarian perspective. Peter Singer explains the term speciesism (discrimination on the basis of species) and documents the many ways in which animals suffer at the hands of humans. The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams (1990) is a must read for anyone interested in feminism and/or animal advocacy and the concept of intersectionality. It shows the many ways in which the …