Eastern Shore Sanctuary
& Education Center

"Watch who they beat and who they eat"
Marge Piercy

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The Connections












The connections between the exploitation of women and the exploitation of animals are well established in fact and theory. Across history and geography, patriarchy has been strongly correlated with the practice of keeping livestock. Traditionally, women and animals were grouped together, along with children, as the property of the male head of the household. Terms refering to femininity have been used to justify the exploitation of animals while terms referring to animals have been used to justify the exploitation of women.

Today, dairy cows are forcibly inseminated on what farmers call "rape racks" while women are encouraged to think of themselves as "fat cows." Both cows and hens are imprisoned so that their specifically female bodies can be robbed of their milk and eggs. At the same time, girls and women around the world are held captive so that their specifically female bodies can be violated.

The liberation of women will never occur until animals are also free. Simlarly, the liberation of animals will never occur until girls and women are also free. Both feminists and animal liberation activists must recognize and act upon this insight.

Reference Materials
Speciesism & Sexism 101
Primer on some of the links between speciesism and sexism (pdf)
Their Bodies, Our Selves
Article by pattrice jones goes "beyond sexism and speciesism"
Of Brides and Bridges
Article on alliances among animal, women's, and gay liberation movements
Resisting the Symbolic Order
An online "ecofeminist look at patriarchal imagery"
Do Feminists Need to Liberate Animals, Too?
On the Issues magazine interview with Carol Adams
Toward Total Animal Liberation
Speech by pattrice jones
Thinking Like a Chicken
Karen Davis on "farm animals and the feminine connection"
Mothering, Caring, and Animal Liberation
Greta Gaard provides an ecofeminist perspective
From Heroic to Holistic Ethics
Marti Kheel offers an "ecofeminist challenge"
Anarcha-Feminism and Animal Liberation
Informal overview published in SEKHMET
Gender and the Animal Rights Movement
Well referenced analysis published by UT Students Against Cruelty to Animals

Feminists for Animal Rights
Gay-Straight Animal Rights Alliance
Boston Ecofeminist Action

Offline Resources

  • The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol J. Adams (ISBN 0-8264-1184-3)
  • Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism edited by Diamond and Orenstein (ISBN 0-87156-623-0)
  • Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations edited by Adams and Donovan (Duke University Press)
  • "Mothers with Monkeywrenches" by pattrice jones, in Terrorists or Freedom Fighters: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals edited by Best and Nocella (Lantern Books)

Note: pdf files require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To get a free copy of Acrobat Reader go to http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html

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