Vasile Stanescu

Dr. Vasile Stanescu is an associate professor of Communication Studies at Mercer University. Stanescu is co-editor of the Critical Animal Studies book series published by Rodopi/Brill, the co-founder of the North American Association for Critical Animal Studies (NAACAS), the former co-editor of the Journal for Critical Animal Studies, and former co-organizer of the Stanford Environmental Humanities Project. Dr. Stanescu is the author of over 20 peer-reviewed publications on the critical study of animals and the environment.

Birds of a Feather: Animal Liberation, Veganism and Social Justice

This presentation argues that animal liberation and veganism should be rethought. In particular, I argue that veganism should be rethought of as neither a diet nor an individual lifestyle choice, but instead a principled action grounded in animal liberation and social justice. Furthermore, I argue that, far from “voting with our dollars” veganism should be rethought in terms of anti-capitalism and anti-consumerism. Moreover, I argue that animal rights and critical animal scholars should focus on developing solidarity with other social justice movements including Black Lives Matter, disability communities, gender-based movements, and others.

In addition, while admitting their partial value, I question a fetishization of new consumer options (for example, Burger King’s decision to sell the “Impossible Burger”) as the main path forward for animal liberation. In contrast, I argue that a correct understanding of veganism would fight against oppression against all animals—including human ones—and instead seek out solidarity with the wider social justice community. In other words, the future of animal liberation is not of consumerism, but of revolution.