Between his degrees in Terrorism Studies and International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and his time spent doing human rights work in Palestine, Michael Loadenthal knows a thing or two about conflicts.
On this Animal Voices, Loadenthal tackles the thorny issue of defining “terrorism” and examines whose interests are served by various definitions. Just who gets labelled a villain can be surprisingly fluid: in Palestine, Loadenthal saw how an amnesty can turn yesterday’s outlaws into today’s politicians and police; in animal activism, Sea Shepherd can destroy whale meat plants and scuttle ships and yet have its own TV show. Why are the animal rights and environmental movements ranked as bigger domestic threats than the anti-abortion and anti-immigrant movements? Loadenthal offers an explanation based not on the movements’ use of lethal violence, but on how deeply they challenge the country’s systemic values like speciesism and private property.
Finally, Loadenthal uses a recent satirical communiqué from Bash Back as a springboard to discuss how awareness of violence against animals is puzzlingly absent from many social justice events.
Many of Loadenthal’s papers and talks can be found at gmu.academia.edu/MichaelLoadenthal.
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