Recommended Reading: Intersections
Oh, Intersections! If ever there was a topic I could spend hours ranting about, intersectionality is it.
Intersections has it all!: Feminism! Animal liberation! Anti-racism! LGBTQ rights! Civil rights, civil liberties, human rights! The omnipresent kyriarchy! The Mighty Blametariat (TM), even! It’s where they all collide in one ugly (and occasionally inspiring) implosion.
Simply put, intersectionality is “a theory which seeks to examine the ways in which various socially and culturally constructed categories interact on multiple levels to manifest themselves as inequality in society. Intersectionality holds that the classical models of oppression within society, such as those based on race/ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, class, species or disability do not act independently of one another; instead, these forms of oppression interrelate creating a system of oppression that reflects the ‘intersection’ of multiple forms of discrimination.”
“Intersecting” or “parallel” oppressions are instances in which the exploitation of two or more marginalized groups intertwine with or mirror one another. While many social justice movements recognize that an oppression suffered by one group of marginalized humans may intersect with or parallel an oppression suffered by another group of marginalized humans, few carry this analysis to its logical conclusion – namely, that the various ways in which humans oppress and exploit non-human animals can be similarly compared to and interact with oppressions suffered by humans.
Examples of intersecting or parallel oppressions vis-à-vis humans’ use and abuse of animals, both human and non, include gender roles which excuse (or even demand) cruelty in men, whether directed at women, children or non-human animals; similarities between (human) genocide and slavery and the industrialized exploitation of non-human animals; advertisements that reduce women to “meat” or other edible animal products and, conversely, sexualize dead and dismembered animal corpses, i.e., “meat”; and the role of the patriarchy / kyriarchy / megatheocorporatocracy in the oppression of women, children, people of color, members of the poor and working classes, non-human animals and the environment.
The bulk of this reading list is comprised of resources that directly address animal and/or environmental exploitation issues, however, listed separately at the end are a few books that specifically focus on the oppression of certain groups of humans. This is useful to the discussion, because in order to compare the suffering of non-human animals to that of humans, one must fully understand the issues involved in both sides of the equation. Thus, if you want to compare and contrast the exploitation of females’ reproductive systems across species borders, knowledge of industrialized factory farming and the ongoing struggle for women’s reproductive rights is essential.
That, and it’s the right thing to do: No one is free while others are oppressed.
As with the “Anthrozoology” list, “Intersections” is as comprehensive and exhaustive as I can make it. Also check out the “Animal Abuse” reading list, as there is some crossover between the two subjects.
If I overlooked a resource, I want to know! As always, I welcome your comments, suggestions and feedback. The comments section on this page is open, so leave ‘em if you got ‘em!
** Please note that, while I have included works by ecofeminist theorists and activists (including Carol Adams), I do not endorse these authors’ transphobic and anti-sex worker views. Nor do I self-identify as an ecofeminist or agree with the totality of the writing referenced below. However, I still find some value in Adams’ (et al.’s) work, as long as one approaches it with a critical, informed and anti-oppressive mind.
To this end, I highly recommend that readers educate themselves about the history of transphobia and anti-sex worker sentiment (as well as racism and white privilege) in the eco/feminist movement(s). In regards to ecofeminism, transphobia and sex work, many resources are freely available online; see, for example, this list of posts I’ve collected on delicious (tag: ecofeminism). Racism in the feminist movement has received a greater deal of attention; e.g., Google “womanism,” “black feminism,” or “racism in the feminist movement” for a nice primer. Additionally, some of the books listed under “Human Rights” (below) address the intersections of sex/gender and race/ethnicity. **
RESIST! against the new racist capitalist patriarchy
just as bad as the old racist capitalist patriarchy.
Always against the oppressor. Never without the oppressed.
Non-human Animals & the Environment
Adams, Carol J. 1995. Neither Man Nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals. New York, New York: Continuum.
Adams, Carol J. 1999. The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory. New York, New York: Continuum. (Please also read trans activist Ida Hammer’s thoughts on this feminist classic. Transphobia has no place in ecofeminism and other like-mined, “progressive” movements.)
Adams, Carol J. and Josephine Donovan, eds. 1995. Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press.
Afua, Queen. 2001. Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit. One World/Ballantine.
Agyeman, Julian, Robert D. Bullard and Bob Evans, eds. 2003. Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (Urban and Industrial Environments). Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
Beirne, Piers and Nigel South, eds. 2007. Issues in Green Criminology: Confronting Harms Against Environments, Other Animals and Humanity. Willan Pub.
Berry, Ryan. 2004. Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal Lover. Brooklyn, New York: Pythagorean Books.
Best, Steven and Anthony J. Nocella II, eds. 2004. Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals. Brooklyn, New York: Lantern Books.
Best, Steven and Anthony J. Nocella II, eds. 2006. Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth. Oakland, California: AK Press.
Biehl, Janet. 1997. The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism. Toronto: Black Rose Books.
Birke, Lynda. 1994. Feminism, Animals and Science: The Naming of the Shrew. Open University Press.
Bookchin, Murray. 2005. The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy. Oakland, California: AK Press.
Bullard, Robert D. 1997. Unequal Protection: Environmental Justice and Communities of Color. Sierra Club Books.
Bullard, Robert D. 1999. Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices From the Grassroots. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.
Bullard, Robert D. 2005. The Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights and the Politics of Pollution. Sierra Club Books.
Bullard, Robert D. and Beverly Wright. 2009. Race, Place, and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
Chen, Ching-In, Jai Dulani and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, eds. 2011. The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.
Collard, Andree and Joyce Contucci. 1989. Rape of the Wild: Man’s Violence Against Animals and the Earth. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.
Davis, Kara and Wendy Lee, eds. 2013. Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and the Sexual Politics of Meat. Lantern Books.
Davis, Karen. 2005. The Holocaust & the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities. Brooklyn, New York: Lantern Books.
Diamond, Irene. 1997. Fertile Ground: Women, Earth, and the Limits of Control. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press.
Donovan, Josephine and Carol J. Adams, eds. 2000. Beyond Animal Rights: A Feminist Caring Ethic for the Treatment of Animals. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Continuum International Publishing Group.
Dunayer, Joan. 2001. Animal Equality: Language and Liberation. Derwood, Maryland: Ryce Publishing.
Eisnitz, Gail A. 1997. Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books.
Haraway, Donna J. 1990. Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science. New York, New York: Routledge.
Harper, Amie Breeze, ed. 2010. Sistah Vegan! Food, Identity, Health and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak. Brooklyn, New York: Lantern Books. http://web.mac.com/sistahvegan98/iWeb/research/Sistah_Vegan.html
Hodgson, Dorothy L. 2001. Rethinking Pastoralism in Africa: Gender, Culture and the Myth of the Patriarchal Pastoralist. James Currey Publishers.
Housel, Rebecca, J. Jeremy Wisnewski and William Irwin, eds. 2009. Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series). Wiley.
Kalechofsky, Roberta. 2003. Animal Suffering and the Holocaust: The Problem with Comparisons. Marblehead, Massachusetts: Micah Publications.
Kheel, Marti. 2007. Nature Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perspective (Studies in Social, Political, & Legal Philosophy). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Lansbury, Coral. 1985. The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers, and Vivisection in Edwardian England. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.
Leonard, Kerri and Christopher Greenslate. 2010. On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America. New York, New York: Hyperion.
Mason, Jim. 1997. An Unnatural Order: Why We Are Destroying the Planet and Each Other. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Continuum International Publishing Group.
Merchant, Carolyn. 1990. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution. HarperOne.
Miller, Frederic P., Agnes F. Vandome and John McBrewster (eds.). 2009. Ecofeminism: Ecofeminism, Environmentalism, Feminism, Deep ecology, Oppression, Woman, Natural environment, Intersectionality, Sexism, Racism, Speciesism, Social inequality. Alphascript Publishing.
Nocella II, Anthony J., Judy K.C. Bentley, and Janet M. Duncan (eds.). 2012. Earth, Animal, and Disability Liberation: The Rise of the Eco-Ability Movement. Peter Lang Publishing.
Norwood, Vera. 1993. Made From This Earth: American Women and Nature (Gender and American Culture). Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press.
Patterson, Charles. 2002. Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust. Brooklyn, New York: Lantern Books.
Paxton George, Kathryn. 2000. Animal, Vegetable, or Woman?: A Feminist Critique of Ethical Vegetarianism. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.
Roberts, Ian and Phil Edwards. 2010. The Energy Glut: Climate Change and the Politics of Fatness. London: Zed Books.
Ruether, Rosemary Radford. 1995. Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing. HarperOne.
Ruether, Rosemary Radford. 1995. New Woman, New Earth: Sexist Ideologies and Human Liberation. Beacon Press.
Ruether, Rosemary Radford. 2005. Integrating Ecofeminism, Globalization, and World Religions (Nature’s Meanings). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Sax, Boria. 2002. Animals in the Third Reich: Pets, Scapegoats, and the Holocaust. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Continuum International Publishing Group.
Scharff, Virginia J. 2003. Seeing Nature Through Gender (Development of Western Resources). Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas.
Schiebinger, Londa. 2004. Nature’s Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science. Piscataway, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Shiva, Vandana. 2005. Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.
Silliman, Jael and Ynestra King, eds. 1999. Dangerous Intersections: Feminist Perspectives on Population, Environment, and Development. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.
Spiegel, Marjorie. 1997. The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery. Mirror Books/I.D.E.A.
Stein, Rachel, ed. 2004. New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality, and Activism. Piscataway, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Torres, Bob. 2007. Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights. Oakland, California: AK Press.
Williams-Forson, Psyche A. 2006. Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press.
Wise, Steven M. 2009. An American Trilogy: Death, Slavery, and Dominion on the Banks of the Cape Fear River. New York, New York: Da Capo Press.
Bales, Kevin. 2004. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
Bhattacharjee, Anannya and Jael Silliman, eds. 2002. Policing the National Body: Race, Gender and Criminalization in the United States. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.
Collins, Patricia Hill. 2005. Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. New York, New York: Routledge.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. 1998. Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War. Owl Books.
Ehrenreich, Barbara and Deirdre English. 2005. For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts Advice to Women. Anchor.
Enloe, Cynthia. 2007. Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Ewen, Elizabeth and Stuart Ewen. 2006. Typecasting: On The Arts And Sciences Of Human Inequality. New York, New York: Seven Stories Press.
Goldberg, Michelle. 2009. The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World. The Penguin Press HC.
Helfand, Judy and Laurie Lippin. 2001. Understanding Whiteness/Unraveling Racism. Thomson Learning.
Jensen, Robert. 2005. The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege. San Francisco, California: City Lights Publishers.
Leary, Joy Degruy. 2005. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing. Uptone Press.
Lifton, Robert Jay. 2000. The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. New York, New York: Basic Books.
McKelvey, Tara. 2006. One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.
Mitchell, Beverly E. 2009. Plantations and Death Camp: Religion, Ideology, and Human Dignity. Fortress Press.
Page, Cristina. 2006. How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics and the War on Sex. New York, New York: Basic Books.
Publications International, Ltd. 2000. The Holocaust Chronicle: A History in Words and Pictures. Chicago, Illinois: Publications International, Ltd.
(You can also view the book’s website here.)
Roberts, Dorothy. 1998. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. Vintage.
Sidanius, Jim and Felicia Pratto. 2001. Social Dominance: An Intergroup Theory of Social Hierarchy and Oppression. New York, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Silverstein, Helena. 2009. Girls on the Stand: How Courts Fail Pregnant Minors. New York, New York: New York University Press.
Smith, Andrea. 2005. Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide. Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press.
Solinger, Rickie. 2007. Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America. New York, New York: New York University Press.
Washington, Harriet A. 2008. Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Anchor.
Last updated 3/28/13