Confronting Animal Exploitation

Grassroots Essays on Liberation and Veganism


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About the Book

As animal exploitation increases, animal liberation issues are of growing concern, as seen through the rise of veganism, academic disciplines devoted to animal issues, and mainstream critiques of factory farms. Yet as the dialogues, debates and books continue to grow, the voices of “street level” activists—not academics, journalists or vegan chefs—are rarely heard. This volume broadens animal liberation dialogues by offering the arguments, challenges, inspiration and narratives of grassroots activists. The essays show what animal advocacy looks like from a collective of individuals living in and around Minnesota’s Twin Cities; the essayists, however, write of issues, both personal and political, that resound on a global scale. This collection provides a platform for rank and file activists to explain why and how they dedicate their time and what is being done for animals on a local level that can translate to global efforts to end animal exploitation.

About the Author(s)

Kim Socha is an animal liberation advocate who sits on the boards of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies and the Animal Rights Coalition. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Sarahjane Blum, co-founder of and board member of Support Vegans in the Prison System and New York City’s Empty Cages Collective, lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kim Socha and Sarahjane Blum

Afterword by pattrice jones

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 292
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6575-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0132-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface  Sarahjane Blum 1
Introduction: Hallway Conversations on Animal Liberation and Veganism  Kim Socha 3

Section I. Theory for Praxis
Turning Our Heads: The “See No Evil” Dilemma  Dallas Rising 11
Anti-Capitalism and Abolitionism  Travis Elise 22
“Just tell the truth”: A Polemic on the Value of Radical Activism  Kim Socha 44
Literary Analysis for Animal Liberation: Stephen King’s Animal Kingdom  Patrick McAleer 66

Section II. Veganism in Action
Vegan Parenting: Navigating and Negating Speciesist Media  Al Nowatzki 89
On Cheese, Motherhood and Everyday Activism  Chelsea Youngquist Hassler 112
Till Vegan Do Us Part? Personal Change, Interpersonal Relationships and Divorce  Elizabeth Cook 129

Section III. Narratives of Change
Introducing Speciesism to the Rescue Community  Melissa E. Maaske 139
Tales of an Animal Liberationist  Dallas Rising 155
An Oral History of the Animal Rights Coalition: Thirty Years of Grassroots Activism  Mary Britton Clouse, Charlotte Cozzetto, Heidi Greger and Vonnie Thomasberg 175

Section IV. Moving Toward Revolution
Killing Them Softly: Marketing a Movement, Marketing Meat M. Ryan Leitch 191
How “Humane” Labels Harm Chickens: Why Our Focus as Advocates Should Be Egg-Free Diets, Not Cage-Free Eggs  Melissa Swanson 204
The “Dreaded Comparisons” and Speciesism: Leveling the  Hierarchy of Suffering  Kim Socha 223
Animal Enterprise Acts and the Prosecution of the “SHAC 7”:  An Insider’s Perspective  Aaron Zellhoefer 241
Some Things Get Better, Some Get Worse: On Being Scared, Being Around, and Trying to Be Kind  Sarahjane Blum 255

Afterword: Flower Power  pattrice jones 263
About the Contributors 281
Index 283

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Offers over fifteen perspectives and testimonies by sixteen vegan activists and animal liberationists”—Reference & Research Book News