Do Nonhuman Animals Stand a Chance with the Left and Environmentalism?
An Animal Rights Article from


Karen Davis, PhD, United Poultry Concerns (UPC)
June 2016

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UPC President Karen Davisís presentation on the Left Forum panel Animal Liberation Strategies in the Face of Indifference and Repression May 21, 2016, is now available for viewing on Vimeo - "Do Nonhuman Animals Stand a Chance with the Left and Environmentalism?"

In this 20-minute talk I discuss what I perceive as a fundamental speciesist machismo linking the political Left and Environmentalism. In addition to noting a traditional Environmentalist disdain for individual animals and domesticated animals (farmed animals especially), I discuss the haughty rejection of continuity between humans and other animals that informs traditional Marxist thinking as characterized by Friedrich Engels in his Dialectics of Nature and quoted in Peter Singerís A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution and Cooperation.


"The most that the animal can achieve is to collect; man produces, he prepares the means of life in the widest sense of the words, which, without him, nature would not have produced. This makes impossible any immediate transference of the laws of life in animal societies to human ones."

For a critical look at Environmentalismís own strain of lofty disregard for nonhuman animals and the pitiful consequences of such thinking, see my article Thinking Like a Chicken: Farm Animals and the Feminine Connection published by Duke University Press in Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations, edited by Carol J. Adams & Josephine Donovan.

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