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Academic and Activist Reflections on the Animal Advocacy Movement by Nick Pendergrast


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Audio of talk here:

Also see the link above for more information about the talk, which was recorded at the Animal Activists Forum:

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Academic and Activist Reflections on the Animal Advocacy Movement by Nick Pendergrast

  1. 1. Academic and Activist Reflections on the Animal Advocacy Movement Nick Pendergrast The Institute for Critical Animal Studies (Oceania)
  2. 2. In Defence of Being Critical • GaryYourofsky: • ‘And please stop having meetings and conferences because you will only end up discussing those meetings at the next conference before scheduling another conference to debate and discuss the previous meetings before having another discussion to debate the meetings scheduled for the next conference and so on’. • tina cubberley (cited in Watkinson & O’Driscoll): • ‘We need to do something, and this is something, so we should do that’. • Dead Prez: • ‘Theory – Action –Theory’.
  3. 3. PAWS • Faunalytics: • 84% of vegetarians and vegans resume eating meat. • For animals and AR specifically = more likely to stay. • How + why. • Social support.
  4. 4. FirstTaste of Animal Activism ‘If you purchase pork, bacon or ham – choose free-range’ • ‘But I eat meat’. • ‘It’s okay, you can eat free-range’. • Free range suppliers/butchers. • Discussions amongst animal advocates vs general public.
  5. 5. Free Range Eggs • Encourage businesses cage eggs – free range. • Research on different conditions – alternatives in best possible light eg didn’t mention the killing of male chicks in all egg production. • ‘European countries have banned caged eggs and actually increased egg production’. • Local organic grocer – could supply businesses with organic eggs but would have to “interfere” with the hens to increase productivity and meet demand eg change lighting, feed. • Suggested they could supply organic meat as well.
  6. 6. Mulesing • Alternatives. • Farmer: they don’t work in Australia. • ‘We all want to eat our meat but then criticise the people who produce it’.
  7. 7. Interview with an Australian Slaughterhouse Worker • Producing “Halal” meat, which was chilled and sent to the Middle East. • Everyone focused on putting the “product” through. • Every stage is about ‘turning life into a machine’. • Starvation, fear, pain, injuries, illness, abuse, slaughter. • Chilled meat in place of live export = one form of torture over another. • ‘The messy business of regulating atrocities’ (Yates). Nick Pendergrast ‘The Silence of the Lambs’.
  8. 8. ‘I Care About Animals, I’d Sign a Petition Against Live Export’ 0.006% of “Australian animals” Pam Ahern ‘The Gift of Kindness’ • Same number of animals killed overall and in Indonesia specifically. • Less animals to Indonesia, more to Saudi Arabia (further). • Flyer: ‘I’m a meat eater and I’m opposed to live export’.
  9. 9. Writing a PhD on the Animal Movement
  10. 10. Lesson 1: Rights versus welfare? Actually little effort vs a lot of effort Petition/ pre-written Send to Change Organisation Letter Phone Donate Buy Friends Lifestyle Other Totals AA 7 0 7 3 0 3 0 20 HSUS 10 1 34 9 4 2 18 78 HSI 23 0 8 5 0 4 1 41 PETA 12 1 5 0 6 3 5 32 Totals 52 2 54 17 10 12 24 171 Major Minor The little effort paradigm (RM eg McCarthy and Zald). <7% 3x veg Avoid: factory farming, caged eggs, fur, Canadian seafood, wild animal industry.
  11. 11. Lesson 2: Primary Focus onVeganism = More Grassroots • Large organisations and veganism – can offer veganism amongst other options in the “smorgasbord” (Francione, interview). • Animal rights vegan activism departs from the little effort paradigm (Gunther). • Less consistent with claiming victories. • Yates: each new ethical vegan = a little victory (but a harder pitch to a predominantly non-vegan donor base).
  12. 12. Lesson 3:The Conditions are Ripe for Animal RightsVegan Activism Australian newspapers The internet and alternative voices.
  13. 13. Lesson 4: Both Larger and Smaller Organisations Limited inTheir Ability to PromoteVeganism • Larger organisations = veganism promoted less often, in a weaker way eg diet only (but bigger platform). • Smaller organisations = stronger version of veganism more often but less mainstream media coverage (less $, media focuses on only “both” – two sides).
  14. 14. Lesson 5: More Intersectional = Less $$$ • Focus on one issue = ‘develop a larger base of supporters’ + more resources, funds and political allies (Glasser). • INCITE!Women of Color AgainstViolence offered a grant from the Ford Foundation.Taken away because INCITE supported the Palestinian struggle against occupation (Smith). • More causes = shrink the donor base = grassroots activism greater capacity to be intersectional. • Right-wing/conservative = more animal consumption and more likely to return to animal consumption than left-wing/liberal (Hodson & Earle). • •
  15. 15. The Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS) Oceania Gary Francione • Individuals create the demand for animal products. • Individuals becoming vegan = reduce the demand. Anthony Nocella (ICAS) • Corporations create the demand for animal products. • Capitalism produces inequalities = socio-economic barriers to veganism. ICAS = deeper understanding of intersectionality.
  16. 16. More From Me • Institute for Critical Animal Studies (Oceania): • Facebook: search ‘Institute for CriticalAnimal Studies, Oceania’ • Twitter: @icasoceania • • My work: Google ‘nick pendergrast conversation’. • (PowerPoint with links, 4 pg version of thesis)