Christina Nadler, CUNY Graduate Center: Racial Animality and Ecologies of Capacity
Feminist animal rights activists like Carol J. Adams in The Sexual Politics of Meat have documented the connection between the exploitation of women and animal exploitation. How might we see the connections with racism? This paper will explore this issue through taking up the slaughtering of livestock in factory farming as an event where we see the complicated assemblage of race, sex, animality, humanity, technology, labor, technology and sexuality. In doing so we see the leakiness of race outside the realm of epistemology. If we complicate race as a social construction in the way new materialist feminists have critiqued this for gender, we may start to think of from where else race might be attached or emerge. If we might think of racialization happening to pigs, for example, we may have significant new ways to explore both racism against people of color and animal suffering. This would be different than the ways animal rights activists problematically invoke racism as a parallel yet distinct struggle to animal rights. Here we have an opportunity to begin to explore how our theories of understanding the world directly connect to the ways in which we enact our politics of social change.