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Critical Theory and Animal Liberation

Edited by John Sanbonmatsu - Contributions by Carol J. Adams; Aaron Bell; Ted Benton; Susan Benston; Carl Boggs; Karen Davis; Josephine Donovan; Christina Gerhardt; Victoria Johnson; Renzo Llorente; Eduardo Mendieta; John Sorenson; Dennis Soron; Vasile Stanescu and Zipporah Weisberg

Critical Theory and Animal Liberation is the first collection to approach our relationship with other animals from the critical or "left" tradition in political and social thought. Breaking with past treatments that have framed the problem as one of "animal rights," the authors instead depict the exploitation and killing of other animals as a political question of the first order. The contributions highlight connections between our everyday treatment of animals and other forms of social power, mass violence, and domination, from capitalism and patriarchy to genocide, fascism, and ecocide.

Contributors include well-known writers in the field as well as scholars in other areas writing on animals for the first time. Among other things, the authors apply Freud's theory of repression to our relationship to the animal, debunk the "Locavore" movement, expose the sexism of the animal defense movement, and point the way toward a new transformative politics that would encompass the human and animal alike.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 376Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-1-4422-0580-2 • Hardback • January 2011 • $48.00 • (£32.95)
978-1-4422-0582-6 • eBook • January 2011 • $47.99 • (£32.95)
John Sanbonmatsu is associate professor of philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is the author of The Postmodern Prince.
Part I. Commodity Fetishism and Structural Violence
Chapter 1: Procrustean Solutions to Animal Identity and Welfare Problems

Karen Davis
Chapter 2: Road Kill: Commodity Fetishism and Structural Violence

Dennis Soron
Chapter 3: Corporate Power, Ecological Crisis, and Animal Rights

Carl Boggs

Part II. Animals, Marxism, and the Frankfurt School
Chapter 4: Humanism = Speciesism?: Marx on Humans and Animals

Ted Benton
Chapter 5: Reflections on the Prospects for a Non-Speciesist Marxism

Renzo Llorente
Chapter 6: Thinking With: Animals in Schopenhauer, Horkheimer, and Adorno

Christina Gerhardt
Chapter 7: Animal is to Kantianism as Jew Is to Fascism: Adorno's Bestiary

Eduardo Mendieta

Part III. Speciesism and Ideologies of Domination
Chapter 8: Dialectic of Anthropocentrism

Aaron Bell
Chapter 9: Animal Repression: Speciesism as Pathology

Zipporah Weisberg
Chapter 10: Neuroscience (a Poem)

Susan Benston
Chapter 11: Everyday Rituals of the Master Race: Fascism, Stratification, and the Fluidity of "Animal" Domination

Victoria Johnson

Part IV. Problems in Praxis
Chapter 12: Constructing Extremists, Rejecting Compassion: Ideological Attacks on Animal Advocacy from Right and Left

John Sorenson
Chapter 13: "Green" Eggs and Ham? The Myth of Sustainable Meat and the Danger of the Local
Vasile Stanescu
Chapter 14: After MacKinnon: Sexual Inequality in the Animal Movement

Carol Adams
Chapter 15: Sympathy and Interspecies Care: Toward a Unified Theory of Eco- and Animal Liberation

Josephine Donovan


About the Editor and Contributors
This book breaks new ground in both critical theory and the ethics debate surrounding the mistreatment and domination of animals by humans. An indispensable collection for anyone interested in these areas of social critique, these essays sketch a comprehensive alternative to the prevailing strands of neo-Marxist and liberal philosophies.
David Ingram, Loyola University, Chicago

Sanbonmatsu has done the field of animal studies a great service by bringing together this rewarding collection of critical interventions. Just as feminist and phenomenological thinking injected needed doses of existential and hermeneutic sensitivity into the first wave of predominantly analytic animal ethics, so Critical Theory and Animal Liberation now joins pragmatism in projecting ethico-political engagement and socio-economic guidance across the new wave of animal theory.
Ralph R. Acampora, Hofstra University

This is an engaging analysis of some of the key issues in animal/human liberation, which makes it clear how connected the oppression of animals is to the oppression of other humans. All of the authors wonder how we can be sensitive to human suffering yet blind to animal suffering. The truth is, we cannot, or must not any longer. This book fulfills a long-awaited mandate demanding a deep change of view. I commend it highly.
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals

Contributors examine how our hidden, institutionalized violence to animals, epitomized by industrial farming and laboratory experimentation, coexists with spectacles of human-caused suffering, degradation and destruction of animals in “visible but not seen” forms, such as circuses and road kill....Critical Theory and Animal Liberation looks not only at the obviously hidden suffering of animals on industrial farms and in laboratories but at the plight of animals who suffer and die openly in front of our eyes through human causation.
Karen Davis, President, United Poultry Concerns

Critical Theory and Animal Liberation, edited by John Sanbonmatsu, knits together a wide range of intersectional and interdisciplinary voices from across the spectrum of Critical Animal Studies. Nuanced and multifaceted, this text succeeds in applying critical perspectives in political and social thought to the problem of our relationship with other animals..../Critical Theory and Animal Liberation/ is an invaluable text for scholars and students of a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. In particular, this book is a must-have for anyone studying or writing within the burgeoning field of Critical Animal Studies. Perhaps the most compelling achievement of this text is its instrumental role in opening up new debates around critical, 'left' classical and contemporary Marxist and posthumanist thought all while sidestepping the popular currents in apolitical, mainstream animal studies. In addition, this book offers a first ambitious step into an uncharted territory -- moving away from the liberal ethics on which most animal 'rights' theory has, since its inception, been built.
Journal for Critical Animal Studies

Due to its exercise of deepening the critique of oppression and its potential to inspire a vision of the social world made whole, Critical Theory and Animal Liberation is a highly recommended read.

• Winner, International Herbert Marcuse Society's Book of the Month February 2011