I said in my heart with regard to human beings that God is testing them to show that they are but animals. For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth? 1 [Read more…]
I assigned students in the seminar that I teach on minorities and minoritized groups to connect to a local minority advocacy or social group. Students were supposed to talk to the group’s members, attend events, and write a journal about how the members interact with the culture around them and how they construct their identity. All students were happily surprised of the warm, welcoming response by these groups—from an LGBTQ network and an Islamic community center, to students for Israel and a Hindu society. The only exception to the general kumbaya were the two students who had decided to connect with the local animal shelter. After a brief meeting, the shelter’s employees told them they couldn’t interact with them anymore. [Read more…]
On February 17 the animal rights movement lost a monumental figure in Tom Regan. Perhaps no one in modern philosophy has dedicated themselves to the defense of the rights of animals with such dedication and intellectual rigor. His influence on the movement is simply historic and his ideas and arguments have remained at the foundation of moral engagement with the question of the rights of animals.
We have invited friends, colleagues and activists to share some brief thoughts reflecting on his passing. [Read more…]
Something happens when a person or institution for whom progress seems anathema says something seemingly progressive: accolades abound. For example, whenever Pope Francis utters a view that does not sound like it comes from the Middle Ages, he is lauded by liberals as the radical pope.1
Francis became PETA’s Person of the Year for the parts in his 2015 encyclical on saving the environment which urged Catholics to respect animals.2 However, his comments did not amount to an animal liberation manifesto. They largely reiterated those of the Catholic Catechism and his predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, with any differences being in emphasis rather than substance. [Read more…]
With striking historical detail, Dangerous Crossings, puts into conversation the processes involved in the making of race and its entanglement with species and nature in the United States. The book draws on historical data, qualitative interviews, as well as policy and media analysis to provide the reader with a historical foundation from which to understand the co-implicated logics of white supremacy and speciesism foundational to institutions and projects of nation-making in the United States (slavery, settler colonialism, Chinese immigration) which continue to influence contemporary power relations. After making clear the historically rooted and co-constituted taxonomies of species and race, Kim moves to an analysis of contemporary debates surrounding the treatment of animals by minority groups. [Read more…]