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About This Site

Animal Rights & AntiOppression is dedicated to advocating for animal rights and other causes, from an antioppression perspective and featuring independent voices. Stephanie Ernst pulled the site together quickly in December 2009 upon departing Change.org (so blame her for any of this site’s inadequacies), and a few of her fellow independent, animal-advocating, oppression-battling vegan bloggers were awesome enough to hop on board just as quickly; you can meet the team and read their bios here (and get an idea of some of what they’ll be writing about in the process).

Animal Rights

In this space, we will be sharing individual animals’ stories, challenging ingrained assumptions, exploring our society’s interactions with and depictions of our fellow animals, and encouraging changes in the way most people think about and interact with nonhuman animals, via their food and clothing choices, their entertainment choices, their consumption habits, and more. We will also put the sarcastic smackdown on those who deserve it for their role in perpetuating, sugarcoating, or defending oppression and violence; discuss activism strategies and internal movement issues openly, honestly, and independently; look at the myriad ways that animal rights issues intersect with other movements and issues; and explore matters that may not seem related to animals rights at all. Oh, and food. We will talk about food. We will probably show you pictures of food. We will get inordinately excited about food. We are vegans. That is what we do.

On the animal rights end of things, some discussions on Animal Rights & AntiOppression will be geared toward AR advocates who are knee-deep in the movement; some posts will be written with newcomers in mind,* to provide information and help them along in their exploration of the issues; some will resemble personal essays; and some will fall into that most glorious of categories: the full-on, no-higher-purpose rant.

AntiOppression

“Wait, back up,” you say, “to right before you distracted us with food — did you say posts that aren’t related to animal rights?” Yes. Yes, we did. Although this blog will be a space devoted primarily to AR, other issues will be covered as well when the writers feel the urge. Neither the animal rights movement nor its advocates exist in a vacuum. Vegans are concerned and involved with other issues and social justice movements as well, both when those concerns clearly intersect with animal rights and when they don’t. And this blog’s founder — well, she just spent a year and a half writing solely about animal rights, while bottling up all the rants on every other issue. And she needs a place to let them out, damn it.

But truly, central to this site is the understanding that all forms of oppression stem from the same place, a topic we’ll explore here regularly, so the connections between other issues and animal rights will often be examined. And even when the connections aren’t easily drawn, non-AR discussions will still have a home here and for better reasons than just to give Animal Rights & AntiOppression writers freedom to express themselves: The oppression, exploitation, and killing of animals — the view of nonhuman animals as lesser-than — is so built into our society as a whole that this view of them is often subtly (and not-so-subtly) present in other progressive movements’ conversations and advocacy on behalf of humans, environment, and nonhuman animals. This is a frustrating truth for those of us who are advocates for animal rights as well as advocates for various human and environmental causes, just as we are frustrated as feminists and advocates for oppressed or marginalized humans when we see animal rights advocacy that perpetuates the marginalization of or harm to groups of humans. So this will be a space where we strive to eliminate those ways of thinking, a space where the world and its dilemmas and injustices are explored from a real and consistent belief in respect, kindness, compassion, and nonviolence, for all beings and the planet they call home.

That’s right, trolling conservatives. It doesn’t get more liberal than this. Brace yourselves.

As for the rest of us writing on and visiting this site, with any luck, we can learn from each other, broaden our perspectives on a variety of issues, and on occasion, even have a good time doing it.

Finally, please keep in mind that this space is still a work in progress, with much more to be added in the weeks and months to come as Stephanie gets her act together. We’re excited about seeing some of our ideas become realities, and we hope you’ll stick around to see them too.

Check out and sign up for the Yahoo! group mailing list (or subscribe via a blank e-mail to challengeoppression-subscribe@yahoogroups.com) if you know what’s good for you you want to be sure not to miss anything.

Welcome.

*If animal rights issues are indeed new to you, you may be interested in this very general primer.

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