May 2020 – Top 5 Articles from JCAS

While it is perhaps impossible to accurately reflect CAS in just 5 articles as it has an exceptionally wide scope, the following references provide insight into what constitute the core elements of CAS. A further reading of additional JCAS articles is recommended for a more complete picture.

1. Frank, J. (2004). The role of radical animal activists as information providers to consumers. Animal Liberation Philosophy and Policy Journal, 2(1), 1-13.

Makes the argument that radical direct action activism that is off-putting to the public may erode public support for animal activists, while actions that resonate with the public can gain public support. But animal liberationists can play an important role as providers of information, that itself has illegal origins, to gain consumer support for institutional changes to practices of animal cruelty.

2. Best, S., Nocella, A. J., Kahn, R., Gigliotti, C., & Kemmerer, L. (2007). Introducing critical animal studies. Journal for Critical animal studies, 5(1), 4-5.

Introduces the newly branded Critical Animal Studies along with its ten principles and how CAS differs from mainstream animal studies. This document grounds CAS in activism and total liberation.

3. Nocella, A. (2007). Unmasking the animal liberation front using critical pedagogy: Seeing the ALF for who they really are. Journal for critical animal studies, 7(1), 1-10.

Provides an overview of the terrorization of animal activists, analyzes “violence” and “terrorism” and defends the animal liberation front and other radical groups. Nocella provides a critical pedagogical context for understanding the ALF on its own terms.

4. Best, S. (2009). The rise of critical animal studies: Putting theory into action and animal liberation into higher education. Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 9(1), 9-52.

Contrasts mainstream animal studies with critical animal studies, articulates the vision of CAS, its integration into academics, and its ideological orientation. This article can be read as an expansion of Best et al. (2007) as it essentially constitutes an elaboration on the ten principles of CAS.

5. Deckha, M. (2010). The subhuman as a cultural agent of violence. Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 8(3), 28-51.

This article centers around the human-nonhuman binary and aims to demonstrate the need for an alternative and inclusive discourse for humans and nonhumans. Such a shift should help reduce violence towards dehumanized humans but also for nonhumans.