18th North American Conference for Critical Animal Studies
18th North American Conference for Critical Animal Studies
November 2, 2019
Salt Lake Community College
Public Education and Training Building
9750 South 300 West
Sandy, UT 84070
Free and Open to the Public
10:00am to 11:30am
Intersectionality and Animal Advocacy
1. Unincorporated Activist Networks: Reflections on the Securitization/Criminalization of Activism and Organizing in Increasingly Authoritarian Times
ABSTRACT: The nonprofit sector has historically been framed as a mechanism through which individuals could organize and affect positive change within their local communities and abroad. However, since the 1980s, many incorporated nonprofit entities have found themselves increasingly wound up in grips of a neoliberal capitalism and the state apparatus— both of which have proven themselves exceptionally effective in co-opting the work of well intentioned individuals and criminalizing the work of those who prove difficult or impossible to co-opt. A reflection on these dynamics is increasingly valuable in times of increasingly populist and authoritarian tendencies. With neoliberalism capitalism having proved itself exceptionally capable of co-opting the work of nonprofit corporations, and the United States increasingly bending to authoritarian dynamics that are amendable to the further securitization/criminalization of activism, how and where might activists find space to organize and affect meaningful change in their communities and beyond? How might broader cultures and networks of resistance come into being and find ways to sustain themselves? This presentation that reflects on some of the historical and current sociopolitical dynamics that impact community organizing and activism will seek to spur discussion that helps us answer these questions. To help illustrate these dynamics , the activism and criminalization of Food Not Bombs—an anarchist influenced movement that consists of decentralized, autonomous chapters across six continents—will be considered in a variety of contexts.
BIOGRAPHY: Originally from Boise, Idaho, Cassidy Thomas is a scholar-activist and graduate of Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah involved with a variety of local activist endeavors. Over the past several years, his research/activist passions have focussed on the political economy of global/local food systems, Food Not Bombs, and the social ecology of resistance. His work and activism are often informed by anarchist and (eco)marxist perspectives. His published writings can be found in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, the Undergraduate Journal of Global Citizenship, and a forthcoming edited volume titled Anarchist Political Ecology: Natures of Emancipation.
2. Tools for Teaching Public Activism in the Humanities
ABSTRACT: This conference presentation will discuss approaches to teaching public activism in the humanities–with specific regard to animal rights and environmental activism, but with the intent to provide an adaptable interdisciplinary framework for fellow instructors and educators. This framework encourages instructors and students alike to investigate the relationship of scholarship to activism, advocating for pedagogical tools that encourage inquiry into and study of activism. As teachers across the humanities increasingly foreground collaboration and intersectional, interdisciplinary dialogue in their classrooms, and in the midst of the current global climate crisis and the youth-led strikes occurring across the world, college students repeatedly express a desire for institutional opportunities to “do” more, to be more “active” in applying what they learn, and to discuss both public and personal accountability (and how to achieve more of it). Students—especially those who are not engaged in anything they consider to constitute “activism”—struggle with how to get involved in their community. Particularly in animal studies, environmental justice and human rights classes, they are being asked to digest potentially traumatic content and to engage in discourses of crisis, but do not always feel sufficiently empowered as individuals or as a community to begin to tackle such problems, or alternatively they approach those problems without employing the imaginative and critical thinking skills taught in humanities programs (skills this presentation argues would better equip them to evolve their activism productively). Teaching public activism in the college classroom presents an opportunity for students to more deeply understand and engage in their community, to harness institutional tools and resources at their disposal, and to productively combine practices of hope, resilience and empowerment with those of critical thinking and scholarly analysis.
BIOGRAPHY: Jessica Holmes is a Ph.D. candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she teaches in the Interdisciplinary Writing Program. Her research areas include environmental humanities, contemporary poetry and vegan studies. She is a 2019 Mellon Fellow for New Public Projects in the Humanities. She received a Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Washington (2015) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English from Lewis & Clark College (2011). Her creative and critical work has been published in TRANSverse Journal, West Trade Review, and Auto/Biography Studies. Jessica served as the Assistant Director for the University of Washington in the High School program and co-founded the Teaching Workshop on Environment at the University of Washington. In her spare time, she participates in public-facing environmental and animal rights advocacy online and in the Seattle area.
3. Ecofeminism as a Counter to the Root Causes of Speciesism
ABSTRACT: Speciesism—the belief that human-animals are superior to non-human animals—results in the domination and violence of othered bodies and the environment. This belief system is underpinned by root causes including, but not limited to, anthropocentrism, patriarchy, and rationalism, which hierarchically arrange one type of identity or way of knowledge as superior to others. This presentation investigates these root causes to shed light on the historical context and the current implications in the animal liberation movement. Whether it is Francis Bacon’s description of nature as the “common harlot” or Kant’s ideal of rationality devoid of emotion and intuition, these ideologies continually shape the prevalent view that humans, specifically white, cishetero males of European origin/descent, have dominion. Furthermore, anthropocentrism, patriarchy, and rationalism inform dominant economic and political systems fueled by the commodification and assault of nature and bodies. Ecofeminism offers a powerful framework to counter the root cause of speciesism as this theory studies the overlap of the oppression of womxn and nature. Understanding the role of ecofeminists, who center their work on the inclusion of non-human animals, is crucial to unlearn hegemonic beliefs and to adopt alternative ways of co-existing with other beings within ecological systems at large.
BIOGRAPHY: Kiana Avlon is a current graduate student at Westminster College in the Master of Arts in Community Leadership program. She has presented research on the rhetoric surrounding houselessness in Salt Lake City this year at the Western Social Science Association conference and continues to study rhetoric as it pertains to speciesism. With a focus on the root causes of speciesism, Kiana grounds her research in ecofeminism, critical animal studies, and anarchism with the goal of total liberation. She dedicates time to participate in vegan street outreach and to work at local animal sanctuaries.
4. Grand Jury Resistance: Understanding Grand Juries and Creating a Community of Resistance
ABSTRACT: In Grand Jury Resistance: Understanding Grand Juries and Creating a Community of Resistance, Halliday covers the topic of Grand Juries and Grand Jury resistance as a direct action tactic used within social justice movements from a first-hand personal perspective. Topics include: Grand Jury 101, What is a Grand Jury?, How is a Grand Jury different from a Trial Jury?, What’s wrong with a Grand Jury?, How has the Grand Jury system been misused?, What makes up a Grand Jury?, How we can resist?, What can happen if you choose to resist a Grand Jury?, Advantages and Disadvantages of resisting a Grand Jury, the differences between criminal and civil contempt of court, The differences between indictment and investigation, Understanding ‘Use Immunity’, Empowering ourselves and How to create a culture and community of resistance and more.
BIOGRAPHY: Jordan Cade Halliday is an American animal rights activist indicted by a federal grand jury in 2009 on charges related to resisting a federal grand jury investigating local illegal underground animal rights activities, mainly concerning fur farm raids in Utah. Halliday is only the 3rd person in United States history to be charged with contempt of court both civilly and criminally for the same act of recalcitrance. The charge was a unique one in that it was sui generis, meaning it is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor.
11:30am to 1:00pm
Veganism and Athletes
1. From Americorps to Activism
ABSTRACT: After graduating from college, Max decided that he wanted to work to solve societal problems and that the typical jobs for recent graduates in his field were not best suited for this goal. So instead, he got a job as an Americorps VISTA and moved to Utah for what would become a very immersive and impactful experience. This presentation shares the story of his journey through various forms of civic engagement as he works to make a positive impact on the world.
BIOGRAPHY: Max Corwin grew up on Long Island and got his Bachelors in Computer Science at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. In 2018 he moved to Salt Lake City to work as an Americorps VISTA at Salt Lake Community College with the campus community gardens. During his time here, he has gotten involved in animal rights and environmental activism with groups such as Anonymous for the Voiceless, Civil Riot, and Extinction Rebellion.
2. Seeking Self Improvement: Endurance and Veginings
ABSTRACT: My presentation will include a brief history of my transition from slow to slightly less slow, to moderately competitive. Why I made the path choices I did in following my passion from road, to long distance, To dirt, and future plans. This will be intertwined with my journey into a plant based lifestyle and how I have intertwined it with my athletic endeavors and how that has impacted my life, as well as my progression in the sport. The presentation will largely circumnavigate the topic of self improvement and how all it takes to do what we might think is out of reach is simply giving ourselves the opportunity to try. Embracing a like minded community and how others impact your lifestyle. It will most likely be awkwardly laced with bad puns and a dash of charisma.
BIOGRAPHY: Keate Avery is a video game junkie turned endurance and Multisport competitive athlete. Stemming from a passion to improve upon his limited perceptions of his capabilities, and things he once thought of as impossible, he has developed himself into a world championship qualifying athlete in the realm of off road triathlon. Keate continues to pursue new passions as opportunities present themselves and enjoys competing in a wide variety of endurance events whether it be on the road, on a mountain, in the water, or some asinine combination of the 3.
3. Plants for Performance
ABSTRACT: This presentation will discuss how increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can improve athletic performance.
BIOGRAPHY: Science geek, foody, athlete, and nature lover, Jesse’s passions have developed into a lifestyle and career. After graduating with a master’s degree from the National University of Natural Medicine, Jesse worked in a clinical based setting at Full Circle Care. Working alongside Naturopathic physicians taught Jesse more than he could imagine. In January of 2018, Jesse took his knowledge and began his own nutrition practice with a focus in plant-based eating. Through his experience and research, Jesse has developed effective nutrition techniques to help clients with health complications and improve their relationship with food. Apart from nutrition, Jesse is also a competitive trail runner. He competes in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile mountain races.
4. Is Spandex Vegan? Nutrition and Beyond in Endurance (and other) Sports
ABSTRACT: These days it’s not uncommon for endurance and strength athletes at every level to thrive on a mostly plant based diet. Many eat a (for the most part) vegan diet and even more eat a vegetarian diet. What is less common is for these same athletes to be eating completely 100% plant based and to be living a vegan lifestyle. Rich Roll, Scott Jurek, Dotsie Bausch, Joe Gambles, Patrik Baboumian, and Kendrick Farris are a few of the trailblazers making their way as pro level athletes, but sport is their job. As a competitive ‘age grouper’ doing sport on the side it can be tough navigating the world of clothing, equipment, coaches, and nutrition but it is certainly not impossible. Do I need more protein? Is there leather in that? Do you have vegan options? These are just some of the questions you’ll have to ask or likely be asked. Using my own experiences as a guide we will discuss the difficulties often faced as one progresses though the competitive environments of endurance sports and other sports and how they can be overcome.
BIOGRAPHY: Ryan made the move to a vegetation lifestyle at the age of 19 and committed to being 100% vegan just over 10 years ago and has never looked back. At 43 that represents more than half his life as a plant based athlete. Ryan has competed in cross-country running, track & field, soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, and cheerleading and has also been an acrobat for the Utah Jazz. He currently competes in running, cycling, cyclocross, mountain biking, triathlon, and Olympic weightlifting.
1:00pm to 1:30pm
Lunch (not provided, but everyone can donate to food being delivered)
1:30pm to 2:30pm
1. Challenging Racism and Ableism within the Animal Advocacy Movement
Anthony J. Nocella II
ABSTRACT: This presentation is grounded in Nocella’s books, writing, and organizing around social justice, racial justice, and disability justice. This presentation will critique academics to activists on their racism and ableism within the animal advocacy movement and how to be more inclusive and intersectional for total liberation. From a critical criminologist perspective this presentation will also example animal entertainment that is legal and illegal rooted in racism. This presentation will finally examine that veganism is about social justice and animal liberation is for racial justice too.
BIOGAPHY: Anthony J. Nocella II, Ph.D. is a professor of criminology at Salt Lake Community College and Executive Director of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies. He has been vegan and involved in the animal rights and other social movements for over twenty-five years. He has published over forty books many on animal liberation and co-founded the field of eco-ability and critical animal studies. He is the most written person on the Animal Liberation Front and total liberation.
2. The (In)Humanity of Honeybees: The Dangers of Anthropomorphizing Bees
ABSTRACT: The queen honeybee has experienced human public relations disasters time and time again throughout the last few centuries. She has been misgendered and labeled a king despite scientific evidence; she has been cast alternately as an exotic Amazonian warrior and as a domestically blissful mother; and she has been dismissed as a mere breeder. The drone honeybee has alternately represented the emasculated aristocrat, society’s poor, and the lazy worker. Unsurprisingly, none of these representations provided by literature, art, and general culture are accurate or respectful toward honeybees. Honeybees are not warriors, aristocrats, or economically unsuccessful—they are life forms of their own accord and do not follow human expectations or gender standards. Every day honeybees struggle to survive in an increasingly growing urban jungle and poisonous agricultural landscape. Because the bee does not possess its own identity in the eye of humans—the animals who have domesticated bees to the point of no return, who control bees’ lives in every way, who contribute to the removal of their ecosystems—bees have little to no chance for long-term survival alongside humans. Humans need to stop anthropomorphizing bees to suit their own social commentary; until they view honeybees as their own animals with their own social dynamics, lives, and inalienable rights to freedom and the earth’s resources, honeybees will be caught in the middle of being both human and inhuman.
BIOGRAPHY: Samantha Orsulak is a recent graduate of University of York, where she specialized in 18th- and 19th-century Gothic literature and animal studies. Her dissertation explored the representation of animals in Saki’s short fiction and how Saki inverted the 19th-century belief in human superiority through animal characters demonstrating dominance over humans. She now teaches Humanities secondary education with an ecological and social justice lens. Her research interests include animal representations in literature, Gothic monsters, and natural history. She is eager to share the fascinating history of the honeybee and act as its voice in the fight for nonhuman animal representation.
2:30pm to 4:00pm
1. Hidden In Plain Bite: The Truth Behind Factory Farming and The Power of Our Food Choices
ABSTRACT: From social justice to public health to sustainability, factory farming is one of the most serious issues facing the planet. By educating young people and stakeholder audiences about the realities of factory farming, Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC) works to build both a consumer base for a sustainable, compassionate food system and an informed citizenry that supports cultural and legislative change.
BIOGRAPHY: Chris Shapard is the Salt Lake City director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC), a nonprofit organization committed to empowering people to help save the environment, animals, people, and their own health through their daily food choices. Chris is a Utah native, and has a background in nonprofit work focused on animal advocacy, grassroots outreach, and marketing.Chris Shapard is the Salt Lake City director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC), a nonprofit organization committed to empowering people to help save the environment, animals, people, and their own health through their daily food choices. Chris is a Utah native, and has a background in nonprofit work focused on animal advocacy, grassroots outreach, and marketing.
2. Heteronormativity, Masculinity-Construction and Veganism
ABSTRACT: In their call for the reading of veganism, a diet and lifestyle backed by strong ideology, as a “queer moment”, Rasmus R. Simonsen constructs their “Queer Vegan Manifesto” on the foundational relationship between sexuality, gender construction, and animal-consumption. While they acknowledge the possibility that veganism could produce a disruption to normative assumptions linking heteronormative masculinity (read; virility, domination, aggression) and meat-eating, what remains to be elaborated is the specific place held by male vegans. That is to say, while all vegans can be viewed as antithetical to western society, not all vegans are equally suspect in their deviance. At the most “extreme” end of this spectrum are adult-male vegans. Christened “Soy Boys”, their ethics and consumption choices put their gender and sexuality expression into question in such a way that they may find themselves even further alienated than other more ‘traditional’ vegan identities. Deemed emasculated, outsider, and often shamed for their divulgence, they are stripped of masculine-carnist status. In the vacuum that is left by the removal of societal markers and signifiers in the form of normative food-products, they often find themselves grasping to reconstruct a masculinity that will undoubtedly be hyper-criticized. This paper will analyze some of the socio-cultural items and discourse produced both for and by male vegans in order to assess the ways in which they perform gender and sexuality in public space. The response of these subjects has either the potential to be a true counter to patriarchy, capitalist culture, and heteronormativity or an unfortunate reiteration of the values that rendered comprehensible the systems of violence against nonhuman animals in the first place.
BIOGRAPHY: Taylor O’Connor is a doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant in the department of French and Francophone Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. She received her M.A. in French from Penn State, and has taught at l’Université de Strasbourg in France. Her primary research interests lie in Enlightenment-era vegetarianism, however her work touches upon questions of animal activism, species egalitarianism, and new materialisms as they appear in the Francophone world both historically and in modern day. She has presented her work both in Europe and the U.S., and hopes to continue working towards the liberation of all species.
3. Consistent Anti-Oppression & Nonhuman Rights Advocacy
ABSTRACT: How can we build bridges with others outside the movement and as a community, truly center nonhumans? Julia Feliz explains that this can be done efficiently by recognizing that mainstream veganism must commit to essential changes in action and perceptions to ensure it raises the voices of the very nonhuman animals it is supposed to be a movement focused on. Human supremacy and nonhuman supremacy are interconnected in ways that mainstream veganism still has not acknowledged and accepted. We can’t extend the conversation beyond a minority without understanding our own hand in the oppression of others and how in refusing to do so and tolerating intolerance, we truly decenter nonhumans. Mainstream veganism finds itself rooted in upholding supremacist hierarchies, which only center and elevate the most privileged above nonhuman animals themselves. Thus, the focus of this talk will be on helping conference participants make these connections while emphasizing how consistent anti-oppression must be applied and be at the forefront of their activism. The tools and resources already exist through entities, such as Sanctuary Publishers, www.sanctuarypublishers.com, a non-traditional vegan book publisher invested in activism, which focuses on consistency in our activism through the creation of resources to guide activists on these very issues.
BIOGRAPHY: Julia Feliz Brueck is the founder of Sanctuary Publishers, sanctuarypublishers.com, a non-traditional vegan book publisher invested in creating resources that help raise the voices of marginalized communities – human and nonhuman. Julia is a published illustrator and author/editor (juliafeliz.com) of works such as “Veganism in an Oppressive World” and “Veganism of Color: Decentering Whiteness in Human and Nonhuman Liberation”. They are also the founder of resources such as ConsistentAntiOppression.com, VeganismOfColor.com, NeuroAbleism.com, as well as NewPrideFlag.com, which has been personally selected by the Library of Congress as a historical artifact.
4. The Importance of Animal Sanctuaries
ABSTRACT: The number of animal rights groups and sanctuaries continues to rise throughout the world which is amazing to see. People are becoming more aware of the suffering animals endure for profit whether it’s through food, products, clothing, entertainment or testing as well as the specific impact eating animals has on the environment and our own health. These issues are being highlighted in the news and veganism is becoming more mainstream. Animal sanctuaries exist not only to provide a forever home for the growing number of rescued animals, they also provide a more natural setting for people to visit or volunteer. Many people have never seen a cow up close, touched a pig or watched chickens play or sunbath in the dirt. Most of us have grown up with the lens of viewing these individuals as “food” so our only “connection” comes through purchasing and consuming their body parts. Like many sanctuaries, the goal of Sage Mountain Sanctuary is to inspire change throughout the community through the connection to our ambassador animals. When given the chance to look into the eyes of a rescued individual who is viewed as “lesser than” by society, we are given the choice to drop the lens and see that we area all the same in the ways that matter most. We all want to be happy and free of suffering. This collective consciousness and our willingness to open our hearts and minds will ultimately save them all.
BIOGRAPHY: Lauren is co founder of Sage Mountain Sanctuary which is located in Park City, Utah. She is also the organizer for Park City’s Anonymous for the Voiceless chapter. Lauren has been passionate about animal rights since she was 11 years old and has made it her life goal to inspire and empower others to live their lives without harming others. She also works to educate the Park City community as well as Park City Municipal about the importance of a plant rich lifestyle. She has developed a yoga and fitness program out at the sanctuary and enjoys being with the animals and sharing their stories with others. Lauren loves fitness and running and continues to prove that we can thrive as athletes when we fuel our bodies with what we were always meant to eat, plants.
4:00pm t o 5:30pm
Hip Hop Activism and Social Justice
1. Life Lessons From The Elements
Wes Wesson aka SoulLyricists
ABSTRACT: Life Lessons From The Elements takes a look at five lessons we can apply to our lives from the practice of the five elements of Hip-Hop and the culture itself. The lessons we’re going to look at are: Practice Makes Permanent, Fly Under The Radar, Let The Music Play, Health Matters, and Social Awareness. Practice Makes Permanent dives into the art of how to practice, and how you practice is a direct influence on how the performance turns out. To Fly Under The Radar is to have a plan and make the essential steps to strategically execute that plan. Let The Music Play is the lesson of knowing that things don’t always go the way we plan it and to go with the flow. Health Matters is just that; we can only do as much as our bodies and minds will allow us. Even in the earliest years of Hip-Hop, Social Awareness has played an integral part of the culture. All of the elements collectively share stories from our lives, reveals what’s going on in today’s world, and teaches us lessons of life itself.
BIOGRAPHY: Wes Wesson’s love for the Hip-Hop culture and passion for teaching began at a very early age. This multi-talented musician from Tallahassee, Florida later moved across the country to Portland, Oregon in 2014. There he worked in the school system as a hip-hop educator, mentor, and workshop leader with Up and Over, LLC speaking with youth about life skills and how to overcome obstacles. Wesson made the move to Salt Lake City, Utah in 2018 and founded Acoustic Funk Nation LLC. He is also an active member with the non-profit organization Salt Lake Save The Kids.
2. Public Picnic at Pioneer Park
ABSTRACT: Public Picnic at Pioneer Park is a project of Save the Kids. Save the Kids is a national grass-roots volunteer organization dedicated to alternatives to and the end of the incarceration of all youth and the school to prison pipeline. This presentation will look at causes of houselessness and solutions to poverty. Further, this presentation will talk about the details and coordinating of Public Picnic at Pioneer Park.
BIOGRAPHY: Alexa Thurgood is a student at Salt Lake Community College. She is the Coordinator of Public Picnic at Pioneer Park and a member of the coordinating committee with Salt Lake Save the Kids. She is dedicated to supporting and assisting those that are incarcerated and houseless. Her goal is to graduate Salt Lake Community College and continue on to getting her bachelors degree at Utah Valley University in criminal psychology.
3. Why Should I Hire You? Interview Skills From Hip-Hop
ABSTRACT: With a so-called booming economy and incomes on the rise, who is being left behind? The answer is not always who you think. In this day and age, your future depends on more than just hard work. Now you need to understand that there is a language being spoken in the world. And if you cannot speak that language, you will be left behind, no matter how good the economy is doing. We will explore what being prepared for job interviews means. These are not secret codes, but they are also not common sense. You have to be more than just a good candidate, you have to answer the question of, “Why you?”. Hip Hop has given you the answers and the skills.
BIOGRAPHY: Mac has always wanted to help people. It started when he was small and placed in a city-wide poetry contest. From there he saw that if you cared, then people might just listen to you. Growing up in North Carolina, Mac saw the differences between class and race. When his life hit a detour, Mac found out what the Juvenile Justice System was like. It was then that Mac decided he could never be back in a situation where this was the result of his actions. After spending an ill-prepared year in college, Mac decided to join the US Navy. It was a path that led to great high, and massive lows. Mac travelled the world and was able to see, again, the differences between race and class. Currently settling in Utah, Mac has found his inner activist. Some of that came though his desire to help, and other parts came from the way the world was moving. A chance meeting with Anthony Nocella about Hip Hop has now opened Mac to a whole new world of letting his passions combine to improve the world and enjoy the culture that helped raise him.
4.Utah Prison Letter Writing
Zana Alrekabi, Utah Criminology Student Association
Bella Ocha, Utah Criminology Student Association
Group Dinner at Veggie House – 52 E 1700 S Salt Lake, Utah, USA
Time TBA – Hike/Run (carpool)
Time TBA – Trip to Sanctuary (carpool)
Time TBA – Lunch not provided, but a group lunch
Time TBA – Flights Out of Town (carpool)
Call for Presentation due October 15, 2019
Submit the following in a Word Doc as an attachment in an e-mail.
1. Abstract/Description: 200 to 250 words third person one paragraph
2. Biography: 80 to 100 words third person one paragraph
3. Submit to: Dr. Anthony J. Nocella II – email@example.com
E-mail subject title: ICAS 2019 Conference
Possible topics include, but not limited to:
Social Change and Health
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Religion and Theology
Social Movement Theory