Vegan Studies as Ecofeminist Intervention

  • Laura Wright Western Carolina University
Keywords: veganism, Green New Deal, climate crisis, United States Politics

Abstract

On November 5, 2019, 11,000 scientists from 153 countries declared a climate emergency, and their report presents in stark terms the nature and certainty of the crisis,  providing six paths forward, one of which focuses on agriculture: “eating mostly plant-based foods while reducing the global consumption of animal products . . . can improve human health and significantly lower GHG emissions” (Ripple et al. 4). We have been given a plan to help us mediate this crisis, but what will it take for us to act on it, or, for that matter, to discuss the “animal question” in ways that are not predicated on vitriolic fear and willful disdain of plant-based consumption? In this essay, I offer a vegan studies approach as a theoretical and lived ecofeminist intervention in a political moment characterized by environmental uncertainty, overt racism, misogyny, and anti-immigrant policies that have become conflated with the presumed threat veganism poses to an increasingly authoritarian present.

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Author Biography

Laura Wright, Western Carolina University

Laura Wright is the founder of the field of Vegan Studies. She is Professor of English at Western Carolina University, where she specializes in postcolonial literatures and theory, ecocriticism, and animal studies. Her monographs include Writing Out of All the Camps: J. M. Coetzee's Narratives of Displacement (Routledge, 2006 and 2009), Wilderness into Civilized Shapes: Reading the Postcolonial Environment (U of Georgia P, 2010), and The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror (U of Georgia P, 2015). Her edited collection Doing Vegan Studies: Textual Animals and Discursive Ethics was published in 2019 by the University of Nevada Press.

Published
2020-10-01
Section
Articles: Food, Plants, and Interspecies Relations