A couple of weeks ago, I was at the 9th International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg. This conference is held every year at the beginning of September. I attended for the first time in 2018, and then gave a presentation about ableism and ageism in the movement. This year I gave a presentation about Representation of other animals. About vegan turkey and voiceless animals.
The book Fear of the Animal planet, by Jason Hribal (2010) documents the numerous accounts of animal resistance in modern history: elephants and tigers who escape from the circusses and attack their abusers, monkeys who manage to flee from laboratories, orcas and sea lions who show their resistance to captivity and abuse. The zoos, circusses and other facilities uphold a narrative of these being exceptions and very rare occassions, they portray the animals as having gone ‘wild’, denying them agency, they promise to take measures so this can’t happen again, and they strictly control the info that gets out to the public. But as becomes clear from the numerous stories in the book, these are all but exceptions. And the animals certainly do have agency, and they firmly resist their oppression and abuse. They are not voiceless and we shouldn’t portray them as voiceless.