December 2015 Top 5 – Five Elements that are Foundational for CAS


We’ve discovered that critical animal studies mean different things to different people. Here are the foundational elements of  CAS as we see them:

1.    Anarchism: We oppose authoritarianism and domination, while promoting inclusion, equity, social justice, autonomy, ‘community’ rather than ‘country.’

2.    Total Liberation: We are part of a movement that understand that all activists need to fight for other struggles and against all forms of oppression. Total liberation is also about taking responsibility for one’s own internalized supremacy and consistently challenging one’s own unearned privileges.

3.    Intersectionality: We are guided by ‘intersectionality,’ the concept that describes the ways in which oppressive institutions and systems (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, speciesism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another. The term `intersectionality` was coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989.

4.    Reflective scholarship by activists to inform activists for activism: We believe scholarship that is valuable for social justice can only be conducted by activists who are informed by action and social change. Activist-scholars are best able to inform movements on what is and is not strategically constructive and effective.

5.    The Animal Liberation Front and other revolutionary groups: We wholeheartedly support the ALF, the first group to begin to rescue nonhuman animals from abuse and oppression, the first to take pictures exposing what was going on in institutions of animal abuse and oppression, and the first to destroy devices that cause harm. We defend them and other revolutionary organizations  –  aboveground and underground – that fight for social justice.