Animalizing Appalachia: A Critical Animal Studies Analysis of Early Sociological Surveys of Southern Appalachia

Critical animal studies acknowledges the role that science has played in constructing and legitimizing categories of difference, particularly that related to species distinctions, evolutionarily ideas about group inferiority and superiority, and the goal of social development. As such, my research explores how sociological research has traditionally animalized its Appalachian subjects and used this animalization as an explanation or rationale for inequality.

Continue reading
Essays

Why are Environmentalists and Animal Activists at an Empasse?

More and more, however, the science of climate change is now demonstrating that animal products are a leading cause of environmental degradation, a body of evidence that is becoming difficult to ignore. However, the ideological shift that is needed–seeing animals not as objectified climate-destroying consumables, but as a marginalized group whose oppression is actually foundational to the degradation of the earth–still lacks. Until we start to see animals as persons and reject hierarchies of domination, the two movements will never fully align.

Continue reading
Essays

Grill Power: Feminism in Men’s Meat Market

Vegan feminism would argue that tweaking speciesist masculinized consumption to include women subverts anti-speciesism as well. It does nothing to challenge the fetishization of commodified bodies. The “pork” industry attempted to boost the sales of dead pigs, for instance, by launching a campaign to encourage women to get grilling. Although Mother Jones was quick to highlight the blatant sexism of the advertising materials in which women are belittled as “grill girls,” “ladies,” “hot mamas, “spicy girls,” and “gal pals,” nothing was said about the extreme violence experienced by the pigs who are objectified as “pork.”

Continue reading
Essays

PETA, Dahmer, and Intersectional Failure

In 2014, the home of infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer went on the market. This sale was understandably a contentious one. Seventeen boys and men, many of whom were children, gay, prostituted, and/or persons of color were raped, tortured, killed, and sometimes eaten by Dahmer at the site. Twenty-five years later, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made a bid to purchase it.

Continue reading
Essays