Posts in Animal Studies
The Tremendous Joy of the Nest Outside My Window

For the last few years, raising animals has been a big source of joy in my life. I’ve gotten to work with baby goats, and my bee houses have sheltered hundreds of wild bees in this area. Watching these birds up close through the whole process of nesting, feeding, and learning to fly out of the nest though—this was something spectacular. I’m so grateful that they chose to nest in front of my window. It was really the first time I’ve gotten to observe so completely how animal families operate largely independent of human interaction.

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Haunted By Their Eyes, Possessed By Their Goddess

When I close my eyes, I see him staring at me from across the gravel lot where his throat is being slit. We never blink, and on day fourteen without any antidepressants, his spirit tugs at my subconscious in every free thought, every passing shadow and pet. The trigger of his bill shaking open to cry, silenced, echoes absently in the mourning doves’ morning songs precipitating tea leaves undeniably in the form of his last life, a duck.

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What Do the Cows Think?

Do we need an animal to plainly state this is hurting me, this is painful, this is killing me, stop, before we act on their behalf?

While a linguistic contract from the animals is deemed necessary by some critics of the rights model, notably no such contract of consent can be cited for the origin of animal exploitation under capitalism. They are simply exploited to the death, despite biting, despite running away, and despite recoiling from humans (even those, who, as D’Amato cited, are transporting them to sanctuaries). The problem is not necessarily a lack of rights, but the presence of a system which necessitates them.

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What the Slaughter of Ducks Taught Me About Capitalism & Worker Solidarity

When I talk about economics classes I’ve attended where we were led to calculate the monetary value of a person’s life in order to compare it to the tax revenue or other monetary benefits of a change in policy, most people with a soul respond in horrified shock that the math nerds making suggestions about global political and economic policy could be so cold and indifferent to human life.

But if I bring up the monetary value of a farm animal’s life, most of the same people will make all sorts of justifications for animal captivity, forced labor, and slaughter. This attitude isn’t unique to the soulful people creating worlds beyond capitalism, but it is an attitude we’ve inherited from this system we’re trying to move beyond.

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