No Easy Answers: McWilliams Takes on Locavore Logic

Food movements have been gaining serious momentum lately. The meanings of “just”, “ethical,” and “sustainable” food are all contentious. Biotechnology, organics, “free range” meat, vegetarianism and localism are but a handful of issues currently marinating in the proverbial stew. Historian James E. McWilliams, author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We … Continue reading

Wildlife Photography: The Legacy of Camera Hunting, Masculinity, and Colonialism

Wildlife Photography: The Legacy of Camera Hunting, Masculinity, and Colonialism

In this conversation, Dr. Mathew Brower, Curator at the University of Toronto and Lecturer in Museum Studies, gives us a fascinating historical account of wildlife photography in the United States and Britain. With an emphasis on “camera hunting” and an eye toward masculinity, Brower notes the shifts in hunting and photography practices, and the larger … Continue reading

Electric Animal: Interview with Dr. Akira Lippit

Rather than predetermined and fixed, the categories “human” and “animal” are in flux. In this interview, Akira Lippit talks about how notions of humanity and animality are tightly bound together. Tracing the disappearance of animals from various ecospheres and the simultaneous appearance of animals in cinema (among other technological media), Lippit explores the figure of the … Continue reading

From a Renaissance Radical to Talking Pigs: Dr. Erica Fudge’s Take on History and Culture

We often look back on previous eras with moral righteousness, but how far have we really come in our treatment of animals? How complete is any history that fails to acknowledge the enormous role animals have played in shaping human culture, and our self-identity? Historians have rarely regarded animals as a serious topic of study. … Continue reading

Cows, Colonialism, and Capitalism: Interview with David Nibert

Well-known within the animal movements as the author of Animal Rights/Human Rights: Entanglements of Oppression and Liberation, Dr. David Nibert is a professor of Sociology at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Historically grounded, and passionately argued, Nibert’s theory contends that oppression is primarily underpinned by economic gain and supported by state ideology. His scholarship offers both an … Continue reading

Rod Preece on “Brute Souls, Happy Beasts, and Evolution”

In his most recent text, Brute Souls, Happy Beasts, and Evolution, Dr. Rod Preece provides a careful re-reading of some major long-standing assumptions regarding animals’ moral status within Western culture. For example, he challenges typical assertions that Christian doctrine is morally bankrupt in regards to animals, and that the Cartesian notion of animals as “insentient machines” … Continue reading

Native Americans and Vegetarianism with Rita Laws, Ph.D.

We speak with Dr. Rita Laws about connections between vegetarianism and Native Americans. Dr. Laws, who is Choctaw and Cherokee, will provide a historical analysis of hunting and colonialism, along with an examination of some Native American traditional views on non-human animals. Dr. Laws has been vegetarian since 1979. In 1974 she witnessed the slaughter … Continue reading