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Sister Species

Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice

EDITED BY lisa kemmerer
FOREWORD BY carol j. adams
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    Sister Species
    Book Description:

    Sister Species: Women, Animals, and Social Justice addresses interconnections between speciesism, sexism, racism, and homophobia, clarifying why social justice activists in the twenty-first century must challenge intersecting forms of oppression._x000B__x000B_This anthology presents bold and gripping--sometimes horrifying--personal narratives from fourteen activists who have personally explored links of oppression between humans and animals, including such exploitative enterprises as cockfighting, factory farming, vivisection, and the bushmeat trade. Sister Species asks readers to rethink how they view "others," how they affect animals with their daily choices, and how they might bring change for all who are oppressed. These essays remind readers that women have always been important to social justice and animal advocacy, and they urge each of us to recognize the links that continue to bind all oppressed individuals. The astonishing honesty of these contributors demonstrates with painful clarity why every woman should be an animal activist and why every animal activist should be a feminist._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Carol J. Adams, Tara Sophia Bahna-James, Karen Davis, Elizabeth Jane Farians, Hope Ferdowsian, Linda Fisher, Twyla Francois, Christine Garcia, A. Breeze Harper, Sangamithra Iyer, Pattrice Jones, Lisa Kemmerer, Allison Lance, Ingrid Newkirk, Lauren Ornelas, and Miyun Park.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09321-0
    Subjects: Philosophy, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    carol j. adams

    How do women, especially feminists, discover the call to be involved in stopping animal suffering and why does it become so profoundly important in the shaping of their activism? How have women influenced the animal advocacy movement even though this influence is not as acknowledged as it might be?

    This book provides stories from women involved in animal advocacy that answers these questions. Through their stories, the women establish that the suffering of animals is an important concern for human beings; that women’s involvement in animal advocacy is consistent with other traditions of women’s social advocacy; and that there are...

  4. acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. introduction
    (pp. 1-44)
    lisa kemmerer

    This anthology began when I sent out a call for papers, asking women to write about their work in animal advocacy. I had long been aware that women were the heart and soul of the animal advocacy movement, and I was determined to create an anthology that honored at least a few of these courageous women.

    I asked contributors to write about animal advocacy. I sought authors working in different types of activism, for different species, in a variety of capacities, in a handful of nations. I chose women from different ages, religions, socioeconomic groups, and continents. Each of these...

    (pp. 45-56)
    pattrice jones

    I’m sitting in a low lawn chair, wearing boxer shorts and a T-shirt that says “Feminists for Animal Rights.” My legs are streaked with mud and there’s a bright yellow patch on one ankle that can only be dried egg yolk. My forearms are dotted with abrasions encircled by bruises. It’s sunny and hot.

    From under the brim of a floppy hat, I’ve got one eye on a Penguin paperback and the other on a multicolored rooster who might or might not start a fight. My hat sports the colors of the Brazilian flag, but ought to be UN blue,...

  7. 2 from rural roots to angels′ wings
    (pp. 57-64)
    twyla franҫois

    I was born and grew up in a small, religious farming community in Manitoba, Canada. While I lived on the edge of town, many of my friends lived on farms. Here, among these nonhuman animals, my awakening began.

    I remember helping my friend milk the cows (even in the 1970s and ’80s the milking was done mechanically). When I walked amid cows in the barn, they stopped and sniffed me. They watched what I was doing, much as I was watching what they were doing. I came to see that each of these cows had her own personality. I was...

  8. 3 are you waving at me?
    (pp. 65-71)
    ingrid e. newkirk

    I guess it’s not very politically correct to start off an essay that has to do with women and their influence by declaring that I detest being defined by the word “woman.” Perhaps that sounds a bit strange to anyone who knows that I’ve been a feminist since forever or, more accurately, since I saw a drawing of a suffragist chained to a railing; that I marched in the bra-burning ’60s when women first demanded equal pay for equal work; and that I became one of the first deputy sheriffs in Maryland—I dare say in the country. (During a...

    (pp. 72-78)
    a. breeze harper

    In junior high school, he was the boy who used racial slurs against my twin brother, Talmadge, making him cry. He was the same boy who, in my math class, spoke of his distaste for a new sitcom that featured an interracial family. And he was the same boy who made fun of me when I tried to “save” a hornet who was crawling on the classroom floor.

    His name was Levi. He and I were in the same algebra class. I was thirteen years old and in the eighth grade.

    Mostly during my K-12 years, I remember always feeling...

  10. 5 fighting ″other″
    (pp. 79-86)
    miyun park

    I nervously shifted my weight, first to one foot, then the other, pretending I didn’t hear, but he was persistent.

    “I said, ‘What are you?’ Japanese?”

    “No,” I whispered, staring down at the crack in the sidewalk.



    “Thenwhat are you?”

    “Korean,” I said faintly, my cheeks warming.

    “I never heard of ‘Kreeyan.’ You’re nothing!”

    I was not yet five years old on that first day of kindergarten, yet I remember those words vividly. It was the first time I was forced to be aware that I was different—that because of the slant of my eyes and...

  11. 6 small small redemption
    (pp. 87-96)
    sangamithra iyer

    ″Small smalls” is what I called them. Small small pikins to be exact. It’s the Pidgin English phrase in Cameroon for “little children.” Those days I had three of them: Emma and Niete in each arm and Gwendolyn on my back, all shy of one year.

    They had just arrived, as I had, at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in the Mbargue forest of Cameroon, about two hundred miles east of the capital Yaoundé. It was the spring of 2002, and Emma and I made the journey there together. She, like the other girls, was a product of the illegal...

  12. 7 compassion without borders
    (pp. 97-101)
    hope ferdowsian

    During the summer of 2009, I met a solemn, beautiful, middle-aged mother with deep brown eyes in Washington State. When she was only an infant, she was taken from her own mother in Africa and forced into a life of confinement and repeated harm. As she became older, she was repeatedly impregnated, and after she gave birth to each of her babies, they were taken from her. They were similarly forced into lives of confinement. This understandably somber individual was also kept in solitary confinement in a cement basement for years.

    This mother’s name is Negra. She is a chimpanzee....

  13. 8 theology and animals
    (pp. 102-109)
    elizabeth jane farians

    Imagine what would happen if the world’s religions began to condemn the morality of our beyond-words-horrendous cruelty to nonhuman animals. Imagine what it might be like if theologians wrote about or discussed our unspeakable cruelty to other animals. Both the human and nonhuman animal would benefit greatly. The cruelty would begin to diminish; we would begin to live in a world of peace and harmony. Oh, how sweet it would be!

    Most animal rights groups think that religion is irrelevant to their work because truly, it has been. With chicken dinners and Friday night fish fries at church functions, with...

  14. 9 freeing feathered spirits
    (pp. 110-116)
    linda fisher

    Ever since I was a young child, I have had an affinity for painting, drawing, and nonhuman animals. Now, as a professional artist and animal activist, nonhuman animals are still the primary subjects of my paintings. But there is more to my work than love for all animals: Amid my large colorful paintings and hundreds of nonhuman animal photographs, hangs a small black-and-white photograph—carefully placed in a shrinelike niche. This picture of Chief Seattle is the focus of my studio.

    My ambition to be an artist started early in life. As a child, I would save my allowance and...

    (pp. 117-126)
    tara sophia bahna-james

    I am humbled by the extensive work of women who labor and serve in the trenches—those who run sanctuaries and shelters, provide foster homes, and risk injury, imprisonment, and even death on a daily basis. By comparison, as a writer, I feel my usefulness in the fight to awaken compassion is elusive. Although I frequently write about nonhuman animals, forgiveness, and healing, my mission is one of truth-telling rather than animal advocacy directly, and in the company of more obvious activists, I sometimes feel like an imposter. Nevertheless, when I consider those who have influenced me, it is clear...

  16. 11 from hunting grounds to chicken rights: MY STORY IN AN EGGSHELL
    (pp. 127-140)
    karen davis

    People often wonder how I started as an academic and ended up as an animal rights activist rescuing and defending the rights of chickens and turkeys.

    Before I was an “academic,” several things happened that bear on my life as an animal rights activist and founder of an organization fighting for the rights of chickens and turkeys. I grew up in Altoona, Pennsylvania, a railroad town, and I attended two Pennsylvania colleges: Westminster College, which I left in my sophomore year in the throes of a psychological crisis, and Lock Haven State College, where I earned a degree in the...

  17. 12 isn’t justice supposed to be blind? PRACTICING ANIMAL LAW
    (pp. 141-151)
    christine I. garcia

    I am an animal law attorney because there is great need for me to do this work. I often tell people that I am an animal rights attorney not necessarily because I love nonhuman animals, but because I believe that all living beings should be free of pain and torture. Yet nonhuman animals in our country are often not protected from pain or torture.

    Humans are not an endangered species. Humans are exponentially growing at a rapid clip and spreading into every natural crevice of this planet—paving new roads in the natural habitat of deer and bunnies and building...

  18. 13 an appetite for justice
    (pp. 152-160)
    lauren ornelas

    It was a hot day in North Carolina and the sheds were all locked, except for one, which contained a dead, bloated pig and a smaller pig. As I walked in, I saw what I had been smelling. On each side of me, there were rows upon rows of pigs in pens. Hundreds of them. Looking down the middle aisle, I saw a huge bloated pig and what looked like a plastic bag. I began going pen by pen to videotape the victims—one pig with an injured leg who struggled to lie down, another with an abnormal growth under...

  19. 14 a magical talisman
    (pp. 161-172)
    allison lance

    Twenty years ago, my life changed when I happened onto a Last Chance for Animals TV commercial on vivisection. I looked up the word “vivisection” in the dictionary, phoned the number on the screen, and the next day I was off to my first protest, called “World Week,” in front of Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles. Although I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do for nonhuman animals, I knew I had found my purpose, and I had left the “Clydesdale Horse World” behind—you know, the Budweiser Horses with the blinders on, which is my view of how...

    (pp. 173-186)
    lisa kemmerer
  21. Index
    (pp. 187-190)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 191-192)