13 September 2020

poster for Animal Liberation: Crisis, Strategy, Hope

Animal Liberation: Crisis, Strategy, Hope

Facing the challenges for animal liberation in an age of crisis.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020
7:00 – 8:30 PM EST

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About this Event

This webinar will explore a number of strategic challenges facing the animal liberation movement in this era of ecological emergency, pandemic disruption and economic and political crisis. What are the opportunities and risks facing our movement today, particularly in the context of COVID-19?

On the one hand, the corona virus has highlighted the causal link between animal exploitation and threats to human health, while creating potential openings for alliances between animal justice advocates and other campaigns and movements. The growing attention to the dangers of intensive animal farming for humans in the form of zoonotic illnesses and mounting occupational health and safety risks may, for example, create a space for dialogue and collaboration with the labor movement.

On the other hand, the pandemic has further fragmented already polarized polities and created a pretext for rampant deregulation in the name of economic growth at any cost, including increasing brutalization of animals -- from those condemned to the gulag of industrial agriculture to those "sacrificed" in labs.

How can the animal justice movement take advantage of this new conjuncture created by COVID-19? What are our strengths and weaknesses in the present moment and how can we emerge from the crisis in a better position to effect change?

Join Troy Vettese, Karen Davis, John Sanbonmatsu and Andrea Levy for this active discussion.

Troy Vettese is an environmental historian and a William Lyon Mackenzie King research fellow at Harvard University. His essays have appeared in Jacobin, The Guardian, Boston Review of Books, N+1, Historical Materialism, Viewpoint, The New Republic and New Left Review. His first book, Half-Earth Socialism: A Manifesto to Save the Future (Verso), is co-authored with Drew Pendergrass and will be published in the spring of 2021.

Karen Davis is president and founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl, including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. Karen’s latest book is For the Birds: From Exploitation to Liberation – Essays on Chickens, Turkeys, and Other Domesticated Fowl (Lantern Books, 2019). Her other works include Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry; More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality; The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities; A Home for Henny; and Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey: A Poultryless ‘Poultry’ Potpourri.

John Sanbonmatsu is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he teaches political theory and ethics. He is editor of Critical Theory and Animal Liberation (2011) and author of The Postmodern Prince: Critical Theory, Left Strategy, and the Making of a New Political Subject.

Andrea Levy (moderator) is a coordinating editor of Canadian Dimension magazine, where she writes a column on vanishing biodiversity and other environmental tragedies. She has been involved in a wide range of left movements and projects over the years, from radical urban politics and the peace movement to convivial de-growth and animal liberation. She is also associated with the French-language journal Les Nouveaux cahiers du socialisme. She has been active since 2013 in the animal justice collective of the left party Québec Solidaire, and she is a member of Polémos, Québec’s interdisciplinary research group on de-growth.


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