1st Edition

Feminist Animal Studies Theories, Practices, Politics

Edited By Erika Cudworth, Ruth E. McKie, Di Turgoose Copyright 2023
    266 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    266 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores human–animal relations and species- based domination at the intersection of feminism with critique of our domination and exploitation of nonhuman animals, in conversation with power dynamics around coloniality and race, class, sexuality and embodiment.

    The collection demonstrates the continued vital importance of feminism – conceptually and theoretically, methodologically and politically – to the development of animal studies. Feminism has made an incisive critique of the ways in which gender and other intersecting differences and inequalities are constitutive of our destructive, exploitative and often violent relationships with nonhuman worlds. An international group of scholars and activists showcase new work, revisiting and extending established debates while negotiating new paths. Amongst the issues addressed in this collection will be questions of animal being and animal rights, caring relations, the relationships between activism and theory, interspecies sexual violence, tension in the animal defence movement around body politics, gender politics and professionalisation, different spaces of gender and animal relations from social media to sexology, safe spaces and sanctuaries, spaces of home – both in times of ‘business-as-usual’ and in times of lockdown.

    This multidisciplinary volume will be essential reading to students and academics working in the fields of cultural studies, criminology, geography, history, law, philosophy, politics and sociology, with interest in gender, environmentalism and animal studies.

    The editors work in the School of Applied Social Sciences at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, and share interests in gender and species violence, environmental harms, social justice matters and intersected inequalities.

    Introduction: Locating Feminist Animal Studies

    Erika Cudworth, Ruth McKie and Di Turgoose

    PART 1

    Engaging theory: Feminisms, species boundaries and intersections

    1 Animal rights without animal personhood? Implementing feminist legal reform for animals as legal beings

    Maneesha Deckha

    2 What are good multispecies relations? An analysis through the concept of caring relations

    Maude Ouellette-Dubé

    3 The movement of pain in opening and closing possibilities of ethical relations with nonhuman animals

    Jonna Håkansson

    4 Activist-led theory? Navigating productive frictions across vegan theory and practice

    Eva Giraud & Richard White

    PART 2

    Practice: Doing feminist animal studies

    5 Loving and eating animals: a feminist dilemma

    Nickie Charles

    6 Deadly contagions, vital contagions: Human-animal relationships in the new pandemic age. An Italian case-study.

    Federica Timeto

    7 ‘She always looked after me’: Revisiting reproductive labour and matters of care with/in companion species

    Erika Cudworth

    8 For women’s pleasure? Interspecies sexual violence and (feminist) sex research

    Annie Potts

    9 ‘Well that’s it! I might as well just die now’. Animals and the reinforcement of stereotyped gender representation on social media

    Delia Langstone

    10 A multispecies safe space? Mapping the rise of farmed bird sanctuaries

    Heather Rosenfeld

    PART 3

    Politics and activism: Feminist animal studies as praxis.

    11 Fattening solidarity beyond species: the rebellious (body) politics of fat veganism

    Laura Fernández

    12 Votes, fur, women: An historical look into Irish ecofeminist veganism

    Evelyn Suttle

    13 ‘Rescued and loved’: Women, animal sanctuaries and feminism

    Nik Taylor, Heather Fraser and Tania Signal

    14 Building a vegan feminist network in the professionalized digital age of Third Wave animal activism

    Corey Wrenn




    Erika Cudworth works in the School of Applied Social Sciences at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Her research interests include complexity theory, gender and human relations with nonhuman animals, particularly theoretical and political challenges to exclusive humanism. She is the author of Environment and Society (2003), Developing Ecofeminist Theory (2005) and Social Lives with Other Animals (2011); coauthor of The Modern State (2007); Posthuman International Relations (2011) and The Emancipatory Project of Posthumanism (2018); and co-editor of Technology, Society and Inequality (2013) and Anarchism and Animal Liberation (2015). Erika’s current projects are a book on people’s relations with dog companions and a critical reappraisal of the legacy of social theory for posthumanist scholarship.

    Ruth E. McKie works in the School of Applied Social Sciences at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Her research interests include climate change counter movement delay and obstruction, environmental social movements, climate change and inequality with a specific focus on Latin America and pet abuse in coercive controlling relationships. Ruth’s current projects are a book on the global history of the Climate Change Counter Movement, the development of climate delay and obstruction studies in the Global South and insurance discrimination as it relates to pet abuse in domestic violence.

    Di Turgoose works in the School of Applied Social Sciences at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Di is a subject lead for Domestic Violence and Abuse in the Community and Criminal Justice Division at DMU. Di also researches and lectures in gender studies, victimology and in feminist pedagogy on a range of both taught traditional and professional-based programmes, including criminology, criminal investigation, psychology, probation, social work and teacher training. Di is the Pracademics in Criminal Justice Network Lead. Her current research includes work on insurance discrimination and pet abuse within coercive controlling domestic violence and abuse relationships, where she is exploring protection, intervention, and prevention strategies.

    "This is a brilliant, cutting-edge collection of writing by established and emerging Feminist voices. Working from the intersections of scholarship and activism and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, the authors examine the shared roots of exploitation and violence against non-human animals and (human) social inequality and illuminate alternative ways of being and structuring relationships that are rooted in recognition and care. Highly readable and accessible, this timely book is an excellent text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses and will be an indispensable resource for scholars working in Critical Animal Studies, Feminist Animal Studies, and related fields."  

    Andrea Breen, University of Guelph


    "This is a vital collection which brings home just how significant feminist work, feminist passion and insight, has been and is to the field of Animal Studies. It outlines how feminist debates about care and non-hierarchical species differences have shaped an alternative vision of political progress for centuries, with feminist work relentlessly differentiating itself from universalising, anthropocentric abstractions.  With a mix of established and new writers, the book is wide ranging in approaches and topics, from sexology to legal rights, vegan frictions to social media and sanctuaries, the collection traces the influences of "FAS", establishing its distinctiveness and priorities, both urgent and emerging."

    Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, University of Wollongong


    "This is a collection of trailblazing scholarship from writers in fields representing the rich and multidisciplinary character of contemporary feminist animal studies. Taken together the collection positions the field of feminist animal studies with both its own distinct scholarly identity and with a clear and pressing relevance and heritage within connate fields including mainstream and critical animal studies, ecofeminism as well as the breadth of disciplines now attending to the animal turn. Similarly, the collection is as rich in its historical pedigree as its contemporary relevance in a post covid world ready to specify and confront new and emerging challenges of scholarship and advocacy." 

    Kate Stewart, University of East Anglia