In this lively, accessible, and provocative collection, Aph and Syl Ko provide new theoretical frameworks on race, advocacy for nonhuman animals, and feminism. Using popular culture as a point of reference for their critiques, the Ko sisters engage in groundbreaking analysis of the compartmentalized nature of contemporary social movements, present new ways of understanding interconnected oppressions, and offer conceptual ways of moving forward, expressive of Afrofuturism and black veganism.
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Takes vegan philosophy to a higher level
A fascinating examination of how racism and animal rights are intertwined even while most people who work in both philosophical areas intentionally try to keep the two ideas separate. Each chapter explores feminism, race, and animal rights from a different angle, and the overall book brings everything together in a path forward that I wasn't expecting. Animal rights books for years have basically been rehashing different aspects of Peter Singer's arguments in "Animal Liberation," but this one is fresh and vibrant and much more inspiring than most books on the topic.
There is some serious graduate level race theory academic language used throughout. Soon after using a jargon bomb, the authors use a simple metaphor or real world example that makes everything crystal clear. I point this out because I could see excerpts taken out of context that would make the book seem like a chore, but I never felt overwhelmed with talk about decolonizing one's diet in a white supremacist patriarchal society.
Also, it's worth noting that people often caricature thinkers who write about such topics as shaming and judgy, but that vibe never comes across. They sound more like sisters working through their own ideas, sharing their ideas, and asking you to join them.
So here are a few excerpts/ideas to give a feel for the book.
* The authors mention how it came out during the Rodney King trial that Los Angeles public officials in the justice system routinely used the acronym N.H.I. to refer to the rights of young black men being violated: "no human involved."
* "'Animal' is a category that we shove certain bodies into when we want to justify violence against them, which is why animal liberation should concern all who are minoritized, because at any moment you can become an 'animal' and be considered disposable."
* "Intersectionality is a wonderful and useful tool to help oppressed folks navigate current systems of oppression that we never created, but it was never designed to map out the future. This is, in part, why some movements that claim to be 'intersectional' feel stagnant; they keep dogmatically regurgitating the same analyses. Many intersectional movements assume liberation rests in finding newer intersections of oppression and creating new terms to add to the lexicon of oppression. These activists tend to replicate cosmetic diversity under the guise of intersectionality. Unfortunately, intersectionality doesn't really trouble the systems looming over us that we never created. Intersectionality maps out the world that has been imposed on us; it doesn't begin the process of mapping out the future."
P.S. Excellent narration.
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Please take the time to read this fantastic book. It covers topics essential to understanding and taking on systems of oppression in the most effective of ways. Beautifully insightful.
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