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International Animal Rights ConferenceInternational Animal Rights Conference

Anarchism and animal liberation: convergence or incompatibility?

speaker: Jessica Gröling
type: presentation
when: Sunday from 11:00-11:50
where: Room A

Radical social movements are witnessing a degree of political convergence. Increasingly, anarchists are adopting environmentalist and animal-oriented praxis and a growing proportion of animal liberation activists are influenced by anarchist thought, as evidenced by grassroots campaigns as well as contemporary movement literature, which has contributed to a systemic analysis of oppression and argues for the intersectionality of struggles for human and animal liberation. What increasingly unites diverse social struggles therefore is an holistic appreciation of the need to address all forms of imposed hierarchy, though there remains considerable disagreement about what are defined as "necessary" (or "natural") forms of hierarchy and discrimination, especially where the conflicting interests of the human and non-human worlds are concerned. In this presentation I will critically consider contemporary projects for animal liberation, including ethical veganism as a form of prefigurative politics, within the context of the prevailing state-based capitalist system, and examine what role the suffering of others plays in anarchist philosophy and practice. I will suggest possible reasons for the discord that remains between anarchist and animal liberation struggles, and propose that ethical and strategic debates within the animal liberation movement represent some of the critical fissures within anti-authoritarian thinking and practice in general.







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