In this accessible and provocative essay collection, sisters Aph and Syl Ko provide new theoretical frameworks on race, advocacy for nonhuman animals, and feminism. Using popular culture as a point of reference for their critiques, the Kos analyze the compartmentalized nature of social movements, present new ways of understanding interconnected oppressions, and offer conceptual ways of moving forward expressive of Afrofuturism and black veganism.
Drawing on her own experiences as a disabled person, a disability activist, and an animal advocate, author Sunaura Taylor persuades us to think deeply, and sometimes uncomfortably, about what divides the human from the animal, and the disabled from the abled. Beasts of Burden suggests that issues of disability and animal justice—which have heretofore primarily been presented in opposition—are in fact deeply entangled.
A national best-seller that was cited by The New York Times as a key reason for the popular rise of veganism among African Americans, By Any Greens Necessary was the first vegan diet book for Black women. In it, McQuirter combines the story of her personal journey with helpful tools such as recipes, menu ideas, and shopping lists.
Lori Gruen argues that rather than focusing on animal “rights,” we ought to work to make our relationships with animals right by empathetically responding to their needs, interests, desires, vulnerabilities, hopes, and unique perspectives. She describes entangled empathy as a type of caring perception focused on attending to another’s experience of well-being.
India imposes criminal penalties for cow slaughter, based on a Hindu ethic of revering the cow as sacred. And yet India is among the world’s leading producers of beef, leather, and milk. What is behind this seeming contradiction? Narayanan argues that bovine motherhood is simultaneously capitalized for dairy production and weaponized by Hindu nationalists to oppress Muslims and Dalits. Using ethnographic and empirical data gathered across India, this book reveals the harms caused to buffaloes, cows, bulls, and calves in dairying, and the racialized labor required to obscure such violence.
Race Matters, Animal Matters challenges one of the grand narratives of African American studies: that African Americans rejected racist associations of blackness and animality through a disassociation from animality. Analyzing canonical texts written by Frederick Douglass, Charles Chesnutt, Ida B. Wells, and James Weldon Johnson alongside slaughterhouse lithographs, hunting photography, and sheep “husbandry” manuals, Lindgren Johnson argues instead for a critical African American tradition that at pivotal moments reconsiders and recuperates discourses of animality weaponized against both African Americans and animals. Johnson articulates a theory of “fugitive humanism” in which these texts flee both white and human exceptionalism.
In a scintillating combination of critical race theory, social commentary, veganism, and gender analysis, media studies scholar Aph Ko offers a compelling vision of a reimagined social justice movement marked by a deconstruction of the conceptual framework that keeps activists siloed. Through a subtle and extended examination of Jordan Peele’s hit 2017 movie Get Out, Ko shows the many ways that white supremacist notions of animality and race exist through the consumption and exploitation of flesh.
Through straightforward and fascinating stories of women engaged with animal activism, Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice explains the complex interconnections of speciesism, sexism, racism, and homophobia. Sister Species demonstrates why every woman ought to support animal activism, why every animal activist ought be feminist, and why all social justice advocates ought to be vegan.
The Postcolonial Animal demonstrates the importance of African writing to animal studies by analyzing how postcolonial African writing—including folktales, religion, philosophy, and anticolonial movements—has been mobilized to call for humane treatment of nonhuman others. Mwangi illustrates how African authors grapple with the possibility of an alternative to eating meat, and how they present postcolonial cultures as shifting toward an embrace of cultural and political practices that avoid the use of animals and minimize animal suffering.
The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory explores a relationship between patriarchal values and meat-eating by interweaving the insights of feminism, vegetarianism, animal defense, and literary theory. Behind every meal of meat is an absence: the death of the animal whose place the meat takes. This is the “absent referent.” Adams argues that male dominance and animals’ oppression are linked by the way that both women and animals function as absent referents in meat-eating and dairy production, and that veganism covertly challenges patriarchal society.