Decentering Whiteness in the Study of Animal Advocacy

This essay dialogue might be different from what readers expect on Mobilizing Ideas. To support coalition-building and the ongoing global movement for Black Lives, MI is opening up the conversation beyond social movement scholars and beyond Sociology. Like other academic and non-academic organizations, the Animals & Society section of the American Sociological Association is using self-reflection to address that Black and Brown scholars are under-represented in our membership and in our field generally. This lack of BIPOC voices influences the research that our section supports, including research on animal advocacy as a social movement. That isn’t unique to our section, unfortunately.

There are three main intentions. The first is to provide critical feedback on the ways that anti-Black racism function covertly in animal advocacy itself and academic discourse about animal advocacy (as well as other social movements). Second, we want to build connections across disciplinary and organizational boundaries through critical coalition-building that is exemplified in these essays. Moses Seenarine and M. Shadee Malaklou explain the stakes for the quality of our research when we do not decenter whiteness in the social sciences and critical animal studies. Julie LaBagnara discusses how social movement processes that negated BIPOC perspectives compromised public understanding of animal advocates and their grievances. Julia Feliz, whose work inspired the title of this dialogue, “Decentering Whiteness in the Study of Animal Advocacy,” describes how BIPOC people are reclaiming veganism and empowering communities from within through the Vegans of Color project. Comprehensively, the authors here speak to how amplifying and centering BIPOC voices fosters multi-issued, coalition-building.

We hope you will use the comments sections here on the essays to contribute to this important conversation. Many thanks to the Vegan Awesome Foundation for their support of this project and to Mobilizing Ideas for welcoming this collaboration.

This month, we have four outstanding contributors. Many thanks for their contributions on this topic:

 

Contributing Editor,

Erin M. Evans

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