Critical Animal Studies – Thinking the Unthinkable



Critical Animal Studies examines our exploitation and commodification of non-human animals.

By inquiring into the contradictions that have shaped our understanding of animals, the contributors of this collection have set out to question the systemic oppression inherent in our treatment of animals. The collection closes with a thoughtful consideration of some of the complexities of activism, as well as a discussion of how to further the progress of animal rights.

Analyzing economic, ethical, historical, and sociological aspects of human-animal relations, this interdisciplinary volume is a must-read for all upper-level students in animal studies, critical animal studies, animals and society, and anthrozoology courses.

The book draws together contributions from some of the most active and committed individuals advancing the field of critical animal studies. It takes a revolutionary approach to mainstream animal studies by advocating for justice from a politically progressive, abolitionist perspective. It supports curricular objectives of animal studies courses by encouraging students to critically analyze the shifting roles of animals in contemporary Western society and their consequences.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Thinking the Unthinkable – John Sorenson

SECTION 1: Why Animals Matter
1. Animals, Immigrants, and Profits: Slaughterhouses and the Political Economy of Oppression – David Nibert
2. The War on Compassion – Carol J. Adams
3. The Animal of Bad Faith: Speciesism as an Existential Project – John Sanbonmatsu
4. Fragments of an Animalist Politics: Veganism and Liberation – Kris Forkasiewicz

SECTION 2: Academic Contradictions
5. The Role of Evolutionary Thought in Animal Ethics – Rod Preece
6. Animals as Subjects and the Rehabilitation of Humanism – Gary Steiner
7. The Trouble With Posthumanism: Bacteria Are People Too – Zipporah Weisberg
8. Your Dog or Your Child – Ray Greek

SECTION 3: Justice and Captivity
9. Looking at Fragments of Nature: A Perspective on Zoo and Aquarium Captivity – Rob Laidlaw
10. Gay Penguins and Other Inmates in the Canadian Legal System – Lesli Bisgould

SECTION 4: Animals, Food, Power and Human Identity
11. Anthropomorphic Visions of Chickens Bred for Human Consumption – Karen Davis
12. Animal Welfare Issues in the Canadian Dairy Industry – Olivier Berreville
13. Spinning the Pig: The Language of Industrial Pork Production – Dana Medoro
14. Crocodile Tears, Compassionate Carnivores and the Marketing of “Happy Meat” – Vasile Stanescu
15. “Too Sexy for Your Meat”: Vegan Sexuality and the Intimate Rejection of Carnism – Annie Potts and Jovian Parry

SECTION 5: Activism and Education
16. Simplicity, Complexity, and Chaos in ABC: Obstacles to the Successful Implementation of Dog Population Management in India – Lisa Warden
17. “Expanding My Universe”: Critical Animal Studies Education as Theory, Politics, and Practice – Tobias Linné and Helena Pedersen
18. “A Mute Yet Eloquent Protest”: Visual Culture and Anti-Vivisection Activism in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction – J. Keri Cronin
19. Animal Rights: Moral Crusade or Social Movement? – Kim Stallwood
20. Let’s Not Give Up Before We Even Get Started: Why Today’s Animal Advocates Should Be Inspired by the English Anti-Slavery Movement – James LaVeck