The Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS), founded in 2001, post September 11, in era of the War on Terrorism. ICAS was formed to challenge the repression on animal and Earth liberationists and provide creditability to radical theories and actions from the Earth and animal liberation movements. ICAS is the first interdisciplinary scholarly center in higher education dedicated to establishing and expanding the field of Critical Animal Studies (CAS).
Founded in 2001, the Center on Animal Liberation Affairs (CALA) was founded by Anthony J. Nocella, II and Steve Best, which came out of the notable book Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals (Lantern Books 2004). In 2007 CALA formerly changed its name to the Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS).
ORIGINAL CALA MISSION STATEMENT
CALA is the first interdisciplinary scholarly nonprofit animal protection center to provide education policy, research, and analysis for higher education.
The first conferences and events of CALA, now ICAS, were radical, intersectional, and provided space and place for those that wanted to defend liberation groups such as the Black Panther Party, Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front, and American Indian Movement.
BACKGROUND OF CRITICAL ANIMAL STUDIES
The term Critical Animal Studies (CAS) emerged out of a great deal of dialogue by many animal rights/liberation academics and activists around the world in 2006 and 2007 facilitated by Anthony J. Nocella II, Steve Best, and Richard Kahn of ICAS and John Sorenson a sociology professor at Brock University who founded the first Critical Animal Studies minor and concentration.
DEFINITION OF CRITICAL ANIMAL STUDIES (CAS)
Rooted in animal liberation, CAS is a radical, interdisciplinary field dedicated to establishing a holistic total liberation movement for humans, nonhuman animals, and the Earth. CAS is engaged in an intersectional, theory-to-action politics, in solidarity with movements to abolish all systems of domination.
ICAS MISSION STATEMENT
ICAS is a radical academic-activist research center dedicated to advancing critical animal studies by working in multiple disciplines and movements. By fostering holistic, intersectional social justice spaces, ICAS promotes solidarity with different oppressed groups with an aim towards total liberation.
ICAS’S CORE BELIEF
ICAS believes that in order to eliminate the domination and oppression of animals in higher education animal advocacy/rights/liberation/abolitionist scholars must come together under one common field of study, similar to that of other marginalized fields of study (e.g., Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, Latina/o Studies, Native American Studies), while constructively debating theories, tactics, and strategies for the advancement of animal liberation and freedom. For more specifics on ICAS’s beliefs, view “ICAS Ten Principles.”
ICAS has four programs to achieve its mission, they include:
1. Development Program
2. Scholarship Program
3. Advocacy Program
4. Education Program
ICAS has developed a 3 part strategy to achieve its mission.