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This show is to honour International Women’s Day, which takes place on March 8th!
In this show, we feature interviews with language specialist and co-founder of Species Revolution Amanda Houdeschell on speciesist language and feminism, and Cleveland-based sociologist Dr. Corey Wrenn of the Vegan Feminist Network on intersectional awareness and solidarity across social justice issues.
To start this show, we discuss what International Women’s Day means to us as vegans, animal rights advocates and feminists.
Dr. Corey Wrenn of Vegan Feminist Network on Vegan Feminist Issues, Intersectional Awareness and Solidarity Across Social Justice Issues via Critical Thinking
Dr. Corey Wrenn is a lecturer of Sociology with the University of Kent in Canterbury, with a Ph. D. in Sociology and a B.A. in Political Sciences. She is also a Book Review Editor to Society & Animals and a member of The Vegan Society’s Research Advisory Committee.
Along with her work published in several peer-reviewed academic journals such as the Journal of Gender Studies, Feminist Media Studies, Environmental Values, Disability & Society, Food, Culture & Society, and Society & Animals, Dr. Corey Wrenn also wrote her own books A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory and Piecemeal Protest: Animal Rights in the Age of Nonprofits.
In recent years, she has been researching to build on social movement theory to explore relationships between humans and non-human animals and animal liberation efforts. Her work prioritizes theories of intersectionality and oppression, especially that which manifests within social justice spaces.
The Vegan Feminist Network was founded by Dr. Wrenn in July 2013 as an academic-activist project engaging intersectional social praxis. The mission of Vegan Feminist Network is to eradicate oppression from the Non-human Animal Rights movement and improve inclusiveness through dialogue and educational resources. It maintains that fighting against human inequality does not make sense while society continues to perpetrate the inequality of other animals – nonhuman and human oppression is linked in many ways that often reinforces and aggravates one another.
This project recognizes that all oppression is rooted in the similar ideologies and mechanism. The Vegan Feminist Network accepts contributions of essays, resources, media, and ideas, as well as sometimes inviting authors interested in becoming regular, occasional, or one-time contributors to the blog for topics including but not limited to oppression, intersectionality, personal experiences, self-care, news items analyzed from a vegan feminist perspective, pregnancy, parenting, families, sex and relationships, advocacy, tactics, organizations, and reviews of books and products.
In this interview, Dr. Corey Wrenn speaks with us about advocating for intersectional awareness and solidarity across social justice issues via critical thinking. You can watch her brief introduction on this topic in this video:
Language Specialist and Co-Founder of Species Revolution, Amanda Houdeschell, on Speciesist Language and Feminism
Amanda Houdeschell is a linguist and undergraduate student in nonprofit administration and philosophy at Cleveland State University. She has also been the Campus Representative for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) at Cleveland State University for almost 3 years. Amanda also co-founded the non-profit organization Species Revolution as part of her work advocating for anti-speciesism.
Species Revolution is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating and sharing resources for educating the public and working towards animal liberation. In Species Revolution, Amanda emphasizes the importance of recognizing the non-human rights movement as a social justice movement and anti-speciesist advocacy as a social justice imperative. She aims for an immense transformation in the way humans view non-human animals that goes beyond veganism to a point where exploitation and consumption of non-human animals and their secretions will not only be illegal, but against common morality.
As with all social justice issues, law can only accomplish so much. This is why Species Revolution is focused on providing educational resources and working with the public to build awareness and change in the worldwide community. Species Revolution’s next event is a four day conference from June 1st to June 4th, 2020, called the Cleveland Animal Rights Conference (CARC). More information on this event is available on the Species Revolution website.
As language influences the way we see the world, Amanda sees the effects of using disrespectful language on the topics of non-human animals and women as well. This is most prevalent in our everyday world in situations such as when we use the pronoun “it” for animals or refer to them as objects or possessions, similarly disrespectful as if we were to use “it” to refer to a human being or treat them as objects or possessions.
The concept of “it” being used for objects and then the same pronoun being assigned to a human or nonhuman animal is degenerative as we see the value of a living being as being above that of an object, and using the same pronoun “it” indicates that they are of a similar value. These common habits perpetuate the notion that nonhuman animals are lesser than that of humans – only through practice can we overcome this social conditioning.
Changing the way you use language is a journey with much learning and many steps, in which you notice more every day the ways we put down both human and nonhuman animals in a word or sentence alone, and can strive to create a more inclusive and respectful manner of writing, speaking, and being.
Amanda tells us more in this show about the use of language and ways to counter speciesism, as well as an explanation on her article “The Case For Seeing Animals as Rape Victims” in an intersection between anti-speciesism and feminism.
Show produced by Alison Cole, with web content written by Asami Hitohara, and guest co-hosted by Leah Thompson and Meghan Beattie.