The academy is brand new. If you spot any issues please let us know.

Essay Series: Further Reading

Overview Books

The most reliable and comprehensive books for learning about privilege and oppression are classified as textbooks, meaning that they are marketed primarily to educators and they are more pricey than other books. I have listed the most reader-friendly and comprehensive ones that I know of here. If you want to choose only one book to read, I recommend either the first or second ones, which provide the most comprehensive and reader-friendly overview of the subject.

  1. The Psychology of Oppression covers pretty much all the basic, necessary-to-know information about privilege and oppression and is comprehensive yet not terribly long.
  2. Readings for Diversity and Social Justice provides a comprehensive yet easy-to-read overview of privilege and oppression and includes essays on specific forms of oppression. You can find the newest and most up-to-date version here or get the earlier yet more affordable edition here.
  3. Unraveling the Gender Knot gives...
Continue Reading...

Becoming And Creating Allies: Ways To Transform And Talk About Privilege

So far, this series of essays has covered the basics of what privilege is, how it can affect ourselves and others and weaken the vegan movement, and how we can become privilege-literate, so that we can more effectively work to create a better world for all beings. This final installment discusses some practical steps we can take to change the dynamics of privilege and oppression in the vegan movement, whether we're in the position of being privileged or of challenging privilege.

This essay is divided into two parts. The first is about what we can do to become a part of the solution when we're members of a privileged group. The second is about how we can invite others to become a part of the solution when we're members of, or are speaking out about, an oppressed group – how we can communicate in a way that increases the chances that our message will be heard and heeded.

Part 1: Becoming an Ally When We're Privileged

We don't have control over whether we're privileged or not,...

Continue Reading...

The Invisible Force That Divides Vegans And Weakens The Vegan Movement

More farmed animals are slaughtered in a single week than the total number of people killed in all wars throughout human history.(1)(2) And the main hope for the animals, at this point in time, is the vegan movement. So the animals depend on us, vegan advocates and, by extension, our organizations, to ensure that the movement is as powerful – as empowered – as possible, to lessen and prevent the bloodshed.

Social justice movements such as the vegan movement are only as empowered as they are unified. Unification is not the same as uniformity, which is similarity or sameness, of opinions, behaviors, etc. Unification is the sense of connectedness and solidarity that comes, in large part, from trusting that members of the group are committed to acting in the best interest of one and another and of their shared mission – that they are committed to integrity, which is the integration of values (e.g., compassion and justice) and practices. We simply can't feel unified...

Continue Reading...

17 Ways Our Privilege Causes Us To Act Against Our Own Interests And The Interests Of Others

This is the second installment in a series of essays designed to raise awareness of unexamined privilege in the vegan movement and to encourage productive dialogue so that the movement becomes more unified and empowered. This essay builds on the previous one, so if you haven't yet read that one, please do so here.

In this essay, I describe some of the ways our unexamined privilege affects our perceptions and drives our behaviors, as well as how it can affect those around us. When we become aware of our privilege and its impacts, we're less influenced by it and are better able to make choices that reflect what we authentically think and feel, rather than what our privilege has caused us to think and feel.  

Many of the issues listed here are well-documented phenomena in the social sciences. Others are based on my own conclusions drawn from my own research, my analyses of other research, and my experience doing social justice work over the past 20 years, including my...

Continue Reading...

Why Being Inclusive Helps Advance The Vegan Movement

Many vegans believe that outreach that's inclusive, meaning that it reflects privilege-literacy and sensitivity to forms of oppression other than animal oppression, is unstrategic because it would cause them to sell the animals short. Most, if not all, vegans who feel this way are those whose privilege-literacy is limited. The assumption that we must be strategic or inclusive – that we can't be strategic and inclusive – is a false dichotomy. In fact, the very opposite is true: our unexamined privilege prevents us from recognizing the strategic importance of inclusiveness, causing us to act unstrategically as well as unethically, so that we end up with a lose-lose model.

#ARmetoo: An Example of How Being Non-Inclusive Damages the Vegan Movement

#ARmetoo is a good example of the damage a lack of inclusiveness can do to the vegan movement. Unexamined male privilege, and the insensitivity to the oppression of women it causes, has created a climate where...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.