Systemic violence and institutionalized prejudices don’t victimize people in neat little boxes according to “race” or “sex” but instead, blur together in messy complicated ways.
So it goes, any attempt to challenge this reality – through organized social justice activism or personal daily battles – requires anticipating solutions that also cross boundaries, defy labels and overlap in beautiful ways.
As we highlighted in our most popular post HERE, Kimberlé Crenshaw identified how we shouldn’t be relying on a single category of a lived experience (e.g., being queer, or being chronically ill) to explain something as complicated as oppression (e.g., homophobia, or ableism).
That being understood, ELK has organized this website by keyword topics to make content more accessible. Some resources will appear on multiple pages because it is relevant to both by discussing multiple subjects.
This talk will examine an event that took place at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin County, California, in 2010, where Sunaura was invited to debate the author and cattle rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman on the ethics of eating meat. Rather than detailing the debate itself, this presentation will explore the context of the event and the social, political, and historical associations that it brought up for Sunaura as a feminist vegan disability activist and scholar.
The way in which the human being has been socially defined is not objective. Political ideas concerning what meets the standard of a human body, and what does not play a critical role. In somewhat similar ways, the nonhuman body, and the disabled body are left out of this definition.
This segregation leads to the systems of oppression known as speciesism and ableism, which are fundamentally tied together. This workshop will explore the definition of the human being, how the disabled person and the nonhuman person are left out of this classification, and what the real-world consequences of these exclusions are.
Although the importance of radical self-care is emerging as a legitimate strategy for liberation within social justice communities, and although authors like pattrice jones have emphasized the importance of self-care in the animal rights community, radical self-care in practice is often ignored within animal rights. In fact, the very concept of “community” is ignored in animal rights. Instead, we focus increasingly on individuals making siloed decisions based on sometimes abstract ideas of animals as a monolithic group and how justice should manifest for them in a global human society. In my talk, I offer stories, poetry, some data, and real-life examples as to why radical self-care is important and relevant for the animal rights movement. I challenge fellow activists to contemplate and reconsider the role of community, in building community, when shaping our strategic and tactical work for animal rights. With the forces of racism, patriarchy, and colonialism weighing heavily in our individual lives and relationships, the most radical action we can take to affirm our power and make a difference for other animals is to help ourselves and help animals to help themselves. Throughout this talk, I will return again and again to the guiding question: how do we navigate the storm of oppression and manage to emerge sane?
In this presentation, I’d like to talk about my own experiences in oppression, and how they’ve come to lead me to a life totally dedicated to being an ally and comrade to all beings as we all work towards eradicating the forces that hold us down.
I will address how radical sobriety has allowed me to find clarity in my own situation, how I’ve been able to take the strength that I’ve built as a survivor and do my best to fight for the liberation of others, and also how sobriety has allowed me to become aware of the oppression that I perpetrate on my own as a white, cis-gendered female. By stepping away from intoxication culture, or at least by being aware of the harm it can cause, we can all take a step away from hierarchy, oppression and domination over others and move toward further accountability in our relationships with each other and the beings we share this world.
this is a piece written for T.O.F.U. Magazine’s 12th issue on mental health & veganism. lots more of fantastic pieces to be found there, all at pay-what-you-can, so check it out.
Struggles for animal liberation have seldom been practiced in ways that are empowering to communities with disabilities or that incorporate radical disability politics. Instead, mainstream campaigns for animal rights continue to endorse ableist mentalities and rhetoric in various different ways. Obvious examples include the emphatic body-shaming promotions of veganism as the “healthy” solution to people’s different illnesses, or the appeals of animals as “intelligent” creatures and their advocates as “rational” people. Reasons for these tactics are not only because of the collusion with ableism as normalized oppression (akin to speciesism), but also as a reaction against repeated attempts of industries and governments to stigmatize animal allies as mentally ill. To demonstrate this, archie will discuss the illness of “zoophil-psychosis” – meaning literally a psychotic love for animals – that was first termed by leading vivisectionist Dr. Charles Dana in 1909. With analysis of this psychiatric disorder fabricated by the animal testing industry, archie will share insights regarding its implications around: the medicalization and media stigmatization of animal activists as “crazy”; its patriarchal manipulations of feminism and gender politics; and the deeper internalization by animal defenders to distance ourselves from realities of illness and disability, thereby undermining the potential for our collective liberation.
Ableism and mental, physical, emotional (dis)abilities
- Social Justice Project – Ableism
- Disability & Sexuality
By Mia Mingus
- Queer Vegan Cat Lady
My name is Allyson, I am a 26 year old Pagan, Vegan, Queer cat lady, suffering from chronic illnesses. I love science fiction, books, Doctor Who, crafts, tattoos, animals, and all manner of geekery!
- Disabled Vegan Chick
A blog dedicated to being a gluten-free vegan spoonie.
- Chronically Vegan
Mary. Ethical inclusive vegan. Environmentalist. Feminist. Queer. Cis (she/her pronouns). In 20s. Chronic illness warrior.
- 2012 Queer & Asian Conference
By Mia Mingus
Examining the intersections of disability and animal liberation.
- The Eco-Ability Collective
A collective of academics and activists bridging the gap for social justice between dis-ability, animals, and the environment.
- Fear of Feeling: Trauma and Recovery in the Animal Liberation Movement
By pattrice jones
- Able-bodied Privilege : Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
- Learn American Sign Language (ASL)
- Disability Justice Activists Look at “Ways to Maintain Ableism”
- The Icarus Project
Envisioning a new culture and language that resonates with our actual experiences of ‘mental illness’ rather than trying to fit our lives into a conventional framework.
- Moving Beyond Disablism in Environmentalism and Animal Advocacy
- Home Remodelling
A guide that hopes to help caregivers and those living with disabilities understand the available federal grants as well as tools that can help create a home that is accessible.
Religion & Spirituality
- Call to Compassion: Religious Perspectives on Animal Advocacy
By Lisa Kemmerer and Anthony J. Nocella
- Animals and World Religions
By Lisa Kemmerer
- Zen Habits
Finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness.
- Decolonizing Yoga
Where spirituality meets social justice.
- How Do You Define Yourself?
By Alan Watts
- Examining Power & Privilege In Yoga
yoga and social justice