Anthony Nocella

Challenging Racism and Ableism within Animal Advocacy

By, Anthony Nocella, Executive Director of ICAS


The modern animal advocacy movement emerged in the 1960s with little thought at the time of intersectionality. There were people in the movement that were concerned about anti-war, racial justice, environmentalism, and women’s rights, but no organization was dedicated to interweaving different causes together. Intersectionality founded by Kim Crenshaw in 1989 emerged as a new perspective on examining and describing experiences of oppression. In 2004 total liberation took on a significant space within radical social movements due to a great deal to the Total Liberation Fest in Erie, PA, USA, which brought many voices from different movements together. As the animal advocacy movement grows more complex and multi-issue, it still deals with reinforcing racist, sexist, anti-LGBTTQI, and ablest actions and campaigns. This presentation/paper will discuss how to engage more successfully in solidarity for racial justice and disability justice. Moreover, it will speak to the economic barriers of the corporatized colonialized vegan diet, while also discussing the ecological and health concerns targeting communities of color, the economically disadvantaged, and those with disabilities. Finally, this presentation will identify the ways in which food justice, racial justice, and animal liberation are interwoven and how to act better when in in solidarity.


Anthony J. Nocella II, Ph.D., award-winning author, community organizer, and professor is a Senior Fellow of the Dispute Resolution Institute at the Hamline Law School. He received his doctorate in Social Science from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Nocella is the National Co-Director of Save the Kids a national grass-roots organization dedicated to creating alternatives to incarceration for youth. He is also the Executive Director of the international Institute for Critical Animal Studies, the first center dedicated to animal advocacy and social justice in higher education. Further, Nocella has published more than twenty books; some of his most recent include Hollywood’s Exploited: Public Pedagogy, Corporate Movies, and Cultural Crisis (2010), Educating for Action: Strategies to Ignite Social Justice (2014), Policing the Campus: Academic Repression, Surveillance, and the Occupy Movement (2013). Terrorization of Dissent: Corporate Repression, Legal Corruption, and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (2014), The End of Prisons: Reflections from the Decarceration Movement (2013), and Academic Repression: Reflections on the Academic Industrial Complex (2010).