Presenting at the International Critical Animal Studies Oceania Conference 2016

icas_logoOn the 1st of October 2016, I will present at the ICAS Oceania Conference being held at the University of Canberra, Australia. My accepted abstract was titled ‘Diversity in animal activism: Preparing for impact opportunities for the next 10 years’.

During the presentation I hope to begin a discussion about the idea of Vegan Futures. Futures Studies is part art, part science, and is concerned with postulating possible futures and planning for desirable futures. Vegan Futures would be concerned with postulating and planning for a vegan future.

In particular, I will discuss the role of animal activism in the context of Vegan Futures. For instance, if we take a Vegan Futures approach can we highlight gaps in our current repertoire of vegan activist methods and strategies?

You can check out the abstract below.

“The near future promises a range of technologies that could be highly disruptive to established animal industries, for example Perfect Day milk and SuperMeat. With the right support from animal activists this disruption could accelerate the end of animal industries and potentially save millions of lives.  Unfortunately, the lack of diversity of advocacy strategies utilised by the movement means that this potential is unlikely to be taken advantage of. While there are a wide range of strategies employed by the movement, all levels spend a large proportion of time on educational outreach explicitly intended for individuals. Educating individuals is necessary but it largely fails to address social and structural factors that reinforce the use of non-human animals. This strategy has also become the standard form of animal activism, arguably to the detriment of other strategies. Recent examples from the New South Wales greyhound industry and Australian dairy industry exemplify the complexity of achieving industry change, with exposures of abuse in both industries being received differently by the public and each industry experiencing vastly different outcomes. By critically reflecting on these cases it was possible to find gaps in current animal advocacy approaches and identify additional strategies for reducing barriers to change. Identified strategies for the Australian animal activism context include, a targeted approach to educational outreach, community integrated support networks that facilitate transition, and research identifying alternatives to animal industries for dependent communities. Increasing the diversity of strategies employed by the movement will make it capable of adapting to opportunities for impact. If the movement wants to take advantage of the coming disruptions it must forecast what is required and begin to build the capacity now.”

ICAS Oceania Conference