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Friday, September 08, 2006

Announcing Issue IV, No. 1 of the Animal Liberation Philosophy and Policy Journal

From the Center on Animal Liberation Affairs (CALA)


Prairie Wolf
Corey Lee Lewis

Animals in Disasters: Issues for Animal Liberation Activism and Policy
Leslie Irvine, PhD

Transparency and Animal Research Regulation: An Australian Case Study
Siobhan O’Sullivan

The Rights of Animal Persons
David Sztybel, PhD

Book Reviews

Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues by Marc Bekoff
Reviewed by Lisa Kemmerer, PhD

The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Peter Singer and Jim Mason
Reviewed by Richard Kahn


The Animal Liberation Philosophy and Policy Journal was established for the purpose of fostering an animal liberation philosophy and related policy field of academic study. This is an interdisciplinary journal with an emphasis on animal liberation. This journal was designed to build up the common activist’s knowledge of animal liberation while at the same time appealing to academic specialists to address the important topic of animal liberation. We encourage and actively pursue a diversity of viewpoints of contributors from the frontlines of activism to academics. We have created the journal for the purpose of facilitating communication between the many diverse perspectives of the animal advocacy movement. Thus, we especially encourage submissions that seek to create new syntheses between differing disputing parties and to explore paradigms not currently examined.

The Animal Liberation Philosophy and Policy Journal is open to all scholars and activists. While the research and perspectives will differ, the editing of the pieces are be peer-reviewed for quality and originality. We encourage and actively pursue a diversity of viewpoints and topics.

In addition to original essays, we invite our readers to submit review of new works in animal ethics and studies. Those interested in reviewing a book for publication in a future issue are encouraged to contact our Book Review Editor, Richard Kahn (, who can provide further details and arrange to send an examination copy of the text. On behalf of the Animal Liberation Philosophy and Policy Journal, and the Center on Animal Liberation Affairs,

Steven Best

Chief Editor


CALA is the first interdisciplinary scholarly center dedicated to the discussion of animal liberation and policy in the fields of social sciences and the humanities. CALA strives to promote critical dialogue around and advance the study and research of the principles and practices of animal rights, animal liberation, and animal-related policy.

Posted by Richard
9/08/2006 10:04:00 PM | PermaLink

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dependence Day

Environmental Action is running a campaign entitled Break Free in which they highlight the concept of "Dependence Day," which they define as the calendar day in which the US effectively runs out of domestically produced oil to meet its own needs and requires additional imports to meet economic demand. This day happens on May 31st this year by their calculations and will occur earlier and earlier in the future, in April by 2025 it is projected unless something is done.

They have an interesting map of where known oil deposits are located coby volume plotted against oil use by country, which implicates the US quite conclusively.

Environmental Action seems interested in calling for fuel-efficient cars, alternative fuels, and other conservation strategies. Here's one more -- move toward veganism and cut factory-farmed foods immediately (including out-of-season hothouse fruits and veggies which require a lot of fuel in order to create an artificial growing season). The fossil fuels required to manufacture factory farmed meat, and to a lesser degree fruits and veggies, are significant enough that if everyone moved away from them in the US, a remarkable conservation strategy would be realized that would also engender a real social transformation that would have additional benefits (save to giant agribusinesses and their happy employees).

Posted by Richard
5/30/2006 11:32:00 AM | PermaLink

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Super Vegan

I promised Olivia Lane a month ago (sorry Olivia!) that I'd point people to a great new blog by people associated with Lantern Press on vegan culture and politics.

Their blogging real hard and have lots of good links to stuff to check out and be in the know on for anything vegan!

Check it out now at !

Posted by Richard
5/17/2006 01:38:00 PM | PermaLink

Sunday, May 07, 2006

New Book: Igniting a Revolution! Voices in Defense of Mother Earth

I have a piece in this one...

Buy the book direct from AK Press! Goto

Global warming, acid rain, deforestation, air and water pollution are but a few of the overwhelming indicators that the earth's health is worsening. For decades, environmental groups have been resisting the destructive trends set by industry and government, but as the social and political climate has changed, popular protest movements have become less and less effective. As the earth's situation worsens, those opposing its destruction have out of necessity become increasingly militant. Corporate and federal properties have been vandalized, set ablaze-even bombed-and the government is meeting this new brand of environmental militance with an increasingly heavy hand.

Whether you're drawn by frustration with environmental strategies that, to date, have been ineffective against this growing ecological crisis, or simply by curiosity (Who are these people? Why are they doing this? What do they hope to gain?), Igniting a Revolution offers a fascinating and compelling look at the emerging movement of revolutionary environmentalism.

Includes essays by Marilyn Buck, Robert Jensen, John Zerzan, Ashanti Alston, Jeffrey "Free" Luers, Derrick Jensen, Ann Hansen, and a preface by Bron Taylor. For a full table of contents, go to:

"This volume will interest any reader who wishes to hear directly from some of the leading intellectuals, activists and prisoners involved in these movements. The insights gained by listening directly to these voices...can hardly be overestimated"
—Bron Taylor, from the preface.

"There's no way that anyone can agree with everything laid out in this collection. But there is no way, either, that we can afford to ignore these varied voices, because the one sure path to destruction is that of business as usual."
—Joel Kovel, The Enemy of Nature

"As we face unprecedented ecological crises, along with growing political violence and state repression, revolutionary enivronmentalists claim that another world is possible. This book promises important insights into radical alternativesw and principled resistance"
—John Sorenson

"Can extralegal means justify an end? The future of terrestrial life itself may depend on whether or not serious debate on that very point is put back on the public agenda. Igniting a Revolution threatens to do just that."
—Chris Hannah, Propagandhi

Posted by Richard
5/07/2006 05:36:00 PM | PermaLink

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Tails of Devotion

Email that came into me...

Hello Richard!

My name is Laura Beck and I am a volunteer for Rocket Dog Rescue, a 501 C 3 Non- profit Shelter Dog Rescue in San Francisco, CA. I am also a fellow vegan! Yay Vegans! I stumbled upon your AWESOME blog and was wondering if you could help me by posting info about a new book that is coming out where 100% of the gross proceeds will be going to 5 non-profit animal groups in the SF Bay Area (SFSPCA, PAWS, Friends of Animal Care and Control, Pets Unlimited and Rocket Dog Rescue.
For more info on the groups, please visit:
) The author even donated the cost of the publishing so literally every cent raised goes to these non-profits! Anyway, the book is amazing … full of stories about people (from Amy Tan to Robin Williams to the woman who lives down the block from you!) and the animals who share their lives … it’s a beautiful, full color coffee table book and would be a great mother’s or father’s day gift! The writer also makes the great connection in the book between animal welfare and animal rights ... sighting how her dogs helped her realize it is wrong to eat anything with a face.

I am not a sales person. I am just a person who volunteers with Rocket Dog Rescue and heard about this project and thought it was so cool that I wanted to help get the word out. I do think that blogs are a huge way that people communicate these days so I thought you would be a great person to get the word out and help raise a load of money for these amazing groups. The more books sold, the more lives saved. It’s just a fact.

Please let me know if you want more information on Tails Of Devotion or you can get it at

Posted by Richard
3/05/2006 10:16:00 PM | PermaLink

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sistah Vegan Anthology Submission Guidelines

Sistah Vegan Anthology Submission Guidelines:


Deadline: June 1, 2006

I am searching for Black identified sistahs that practice Veganism to share
their stores in an anthology I would like to put together. I am looking for
poetry, narratives, creative stories or critical essays that link veganism to
ending human oppression and ecological devastation. Topics and questions to
consider can include but are not limited to:

Choosing Veganism and organic fair trade consumption because of it's links to
ecological harmony.

Realizing that Veganism connected you to other holistic practices that enhanced
your health and managed life-long ailments.

Connecting a memory of sexual harassment and linking it to theories of Veganism.

The pivotal moment you realized that your dietary habits potentially supported
the very types of oppression you were struggling against.

Do you have any funny yet poignant stories about your friends and family's
reactions to your conversion to Veganism?

Did you grow up as a vegan?

Did you ever have to defend your veganism at you job and feel constantly
offended by people who just didn't respect it?

All stories, critical analysis, poetry, and insights all welcome for submission,
along with other creative formats you feel will allow your voice to be heard. If
possible, stories and essays should be no more than 15 pp double spaced with 1"
Margins. ***Please provide a short bio (No more than 1/2 page long) and contact
info. Deadline is June 1, 2006. Thanks and I look forward to connecting with my
Vegan Sistahs through your writing. Please send as an attachment (MicrosoftWord
or Appleworks) to or you can postal mail to me. Email me
for the mailing address.

Posted by Richard
1/29/2006 10:18:00 PM | PermaLink

Friday, September 09, 2005

FEMA, Companion Animals, and Biopolitics in New Orleans

A humane and rational government would have coordinated with the Humane Society of the United States and other local humane groups on the ground to allow them to be on hand with the search, rescue, and removal teams. In this way, when such teams encounter a resident who presently does not want to leave because in leaving they will be forced by the government to leave their companion animals behind to die cruelly (either by starvation or officially sanctioned shooting), instead the HSUS and others could remove these animals for separate transport out of the area and consequent future reunitement with their families.

As imagined, this is still far from a perfect scenario. No one imagines that all these animals (much less the people who have been similarly rescued) will necessarily find those from whom they have been separated. To coordinate animal rescue with humane organizations, however, is much better than the current speciesist military model that has people being ordered at the point of a M16 rifle, with communications locked down in order to further control the situation, to leave the area and their animals because the government believes that it has decided that it is in their best interest to do so.

In some cases, people delerious from the lack of food and water, as well as the shock of the tragedy, may indeed be better served by leaving New Orleans -- though leaving to be subjected to FEMA's military lock down for the next 5 months hardly seems like it could be of much benefit. But it only serves to show that while the military and FEMA are happy to portray these die-hard residents as insane, it is exactly the opposite. Threatened that they must leave behind their companion animals, the remaining residents of New Orleans would rather die with them -- a truly human response to tragedy. Instead, the irrationality of the government, which thinks largely in economic terms by instrumentally transposing lives into numbers of survivals, deaths, and collateral losses, all too easily "makes the hard decision" to save the human beings they find and kill their animal companions. This is itself a crime against humanity, as well as a clear crime of murder against non-human animality.

Of course, racism itself is inherent in this barbaric logic. It is the monstrous mix of speciesism and racism that condemned so many of New Orleans' poor, black, and other minorities to torture and death. It was not simply that they were non-white and non-wealthy. It was that in being so, they were other than that and thus cast in the figure of "humanity's" other: the non-human animal. Indeed, even as reports of black "looting" erupted against the rhetoric of white attempts at survival by any means necessary, there was also a language that condemned and illustrated the manifestation of post-Katrina looting and social disorder as being the product of "animals" -- as in, "those people are just plain animals!" In fact, this particular thought virus, if you will, was so virulent that it manifested as far away as Los Angeles, with close friends (and even animal rights supporters I know!) slipping comfortably into this manner of speech. That this would happen only shows the deep and unconscious fabric of racist speciesism inherent in our society, which bubbles forth and floods our reality in moments of panic and supernatural tragedy such as we are witnessing now in New Orleans.

While there has been no shortage of strong critique of what has occured over the last week in the Gulf Coast, the many commentators on the situation in New Orleans and the region -- from media pundits and journalists, to activists, and to scholars and citizens alike -- certainly do not have everything correct in their analyses of the situation thus far. Being barred from the area, with militaristic and fascistic control of the photographic and other news evidence, necessarily ensures this. Yet, one claim about what has ensued is absolutely correct. The failure of the Bush administration, the federal institutions such as FEMA that are under its management, as well as the state governmental responses, certainly has to do with the obvious inefficiency and irrationality of the tremendous bureaucracy that has become our institutional norm and fancy.

But far beyond this, the government and military have acted with cold brutality in enforcing a more primal absence of reason as they have institued their sole right to decide over who will live and who will die, and in doing this, have decided once again to act in the name of humanity. Thus, let me assert one other thing we have learned so far. Just as officials who call upon our support in the name of country should be clearly mistrusted, more so still those who urge us onward in defense of our species being! For it is only a matter of chance, generally, that keeps some of us from having to stare unyieldingly into the abattoir of the totally administered society during times of crisis. Sadly, those deemed too inhuman to be spared the carnage of New Orleans now know this all too well.

Posted by Richard
9/09/2005 07:23:00 AM | PermaLink

Friday, September 02, 2005

On the Gulf Coast Catastrophe

As there generally is associated with unfolding mass-tragedies, there is a great deal of rumor and misinformation arising as a result of the catastrophe in New Orleans (and onward to Mobile). In this case, because of a clear political failure that has compounded the devastation, we are being fed a heavy volume of political spin that further distorts the larger reality of what is happening and why.

Living in Los Angeles, I cannot claim to be in a special position on the events happening and am forced like so many to decipher mainstream and alternative media reports, as I piece together a more accurate picture of the truth.

However, as an academic expert in ecological politics and environmental sociology, I do have access to discussions and information that is often unreported (though I am shocked to see the news in many cases doing their homework on this event and reporting some measure of it).

Due to the ongoing nature of what is taking place, which requires my full attention, and because I am less committed these days to adding just another nanovoice in the blogosphere, I wanted to post that I am available for questions and concerns by media and concerned citizens alike, and am happy to attempt to provide confirming and debunking answers to the best of my ability. My full contact information is available at my website:

My heart goes out to all those who have been hurt or killed by Katrina and the ensuing gross mis-management that has followed. This stands for humans, and especially non-human animals (who are largely forgotten, left behind, and unattended to by most relief organizations)...

One can only hope that people's being deeply affected by this will further lead them on to question the nature of society and push for changes that make for a more equitable, ethical, and ecological world.

Richard Kahn
Ecopedagogy Chair, UCLA Paulo Freire Institute

Posted by Richard
9/02/2005 09:49:00 AM | PermaLink

Friday, August 05, 2005

New Website!

I have developed a new flash website for personal use, which I will continue to build up throughout the summer.

It is the first complete archive of my published writings and I urge those who enjoy the blog or who have gone to the essays section at Get Vegan only to find paltry offerings there to check the new site out...

Have been meaning to do it for two years!


Note: If you don't have the proper flash player installed it will automatically shoot you back to

Posted by Richard
8/05/2005 01:57:00 AM | PermaLink